Union County, NJ – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders reminds residents to prepare for rainy weather, as the Atlantic hurricane season has officially begun and the first tropical storm of the season is working its way up the eastern seaboard.
“Union County will experience some heavy rain and wind in advance of the holiday weekend,” said Freeholder Chairman Christopher Hudak. “This is a good opportunity to check how prepared you are for more severe weather events as the hurricane season picks up.”
Since being impacted by Hurricane Irene in August 2010, Union County has experienced a string of damaging weather events including Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
“We have learned to expect the unexpected when it comes to the unusual weather patterns associated with climate change,” said Hudak. “That means it’s more important now than ever to plan ahead for weather-related emergencies.”
Standard emergency preparedness includes maintaining a supply of non-perishable food, fresh water, and basic first aid supplies.
To help County residents prepare, the Union County home page features a new “Plan Ahead for Weather Emergencies” link at ucnj.org. It enables handy access to guidance from the federal emergency website,ready.gov, along with links to websites and social media for Union County and the 21 municipalities.
Additional guidance relating to health and safety before, during, and after a weather emergency is also available from the Centers for Disease Control at cdc.gov.
As part of their emergency preparedness measures, residents and businesses are asked to check their property and secure lightweight yard furniture, trash cans, toys, and other items that could create windblown hazards.
“The most crucial thing to do is to stay informed in the lead-up to an extreme weather event, and follow the guidance of local emergency officials,” Hudak noted. “Your preparedness will enable first responders to focus on helping those in immediate need.”
During emergencies, residents automatically receive warnings on land lines at home, through the reverse-911 system. To receive alerts on cell phones and other mobile devices, residents can join the Union County First Alert system by signing up online at ucfirstalert.org.
“When you receive an alert, follow up by tuning in to your local news reports. You can also bookmark the home page of the Union County website, ucnj.org, where information and updates will be posted,” said Hudak.
Information on the progress of Tropical Storm Arthur is available from the National Hurricane Center atnhc.noaa.gov.