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Winter months hold the possibility of icy roads, downed power lines and snow drifts. New Jersey residents should prepare now for emergencies that cold weather and winter storms can bring.
Simple steps to becoming disaster ready include getting an emergency supply kit, making a communication plan and listening to local instructions.
Before, during and after a disaster, it is critical that you listen for the most local, up-to-date information from emergency officials. Local media will convey instructions from local, state and federal government partners, such as details about evacuation orders, how to safely stay where you are and when the emergency has passed.
LIMIT EXPOSURE TO EXTREME COLD
Exposure to extremely cold temperatures, even for short periods of time can be very dangerous especially for the very young, old or people with chronic medical conditions. The most serious cold-related illness is hypothermia, a drop in normal body temperature from 98.6 degrees to 95 or lower that requires emergency medical care.
At the earliest stages of hypothermia, violent shivering is the most noticeable symptom. As the body temperature continues to drop, symptoms will change. Shivering decreases and stops; speech is distorted or slurred; behavior is irrational; drowsiness or numbness occurs; pulse weakens and there is shortness of breath and unconsciousness. Hypothermia can be fatal if not treated. If you notice signs of hypothermia in someone, seek medical attention immediately. While waiting for assistance, you can:
Other advice for avoiding cold-related illness and injury:
WINTER FIRE SAFETY TIPS
WINTER TRAVEL TIPS
Proper preparation for safe winter travel starts with a well-equipped car: All cars should be equipped with road maps, a cell phone, a shovel, a windshield scraper, a towrope, booster cables, and a brightly colored cloth to use as a distress signal, and an emergency supply kit (see above). A bag of sand or non-clumping cat litter to spread under tires if stuck in snow is also recommended.
Proper Travel Notification: Drivers should inform someone that they are taking a trip, where they are going, the routes that will be traveled and when they are expected to return. Upon reaching their destination, drivers should call to report arrival. If traveling a long distance, please remember to fill up on fuel prior to making your trip. While traveling, stop frequently to refill the fuel tank.
On the Road: Always follow the rules of the road and adhere to the following guidelines:
Learn more about winter safety from the winter weather safety guide which can be found on the official New Jersey Office of Emergency Management website where you can access, download, and print out valuable winter storm related information from the state's foremost emergency management site free of charge and available anytime day or night. Sign up for the NJ OEM Twitter and Facebook pages, by logging onto their Home Page and clicking on Social Media.
Want to receive emergency info on your cell phone? Just log on to NJ Alert and sign up today!
TOP 23 WINTER SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PEOPLE LIVING WITH PARALYSIS
The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation asked three wheelchair users familiar with cold climate conditions to provide some general safety tips for people living with paralysis this winter season. Read their Winter Survival Tips.
During the winter months, generally starting in December and finishing by the end of March, New Jersey county officials will call a Code Blue when winter conditions pose a threat of serious harm or death to homeless individuals without shelter.
Often, a Code Blue will be called when the National Weather Bureau predicts a wind chill temperature of 20 or 25 degrees Fahrenheit or below or precipitation with temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Once called, county shelters that are able will offer additional beds for homeless individuals seeking shelter from the severe weather and warming centers may be opened to provide a temporary reprieve from the cold. As we are notified of these conditions and receive shelter resources they will be posted here.
No-Heat Complaints - If you are a renter, you have rights that protect you from the cold. Learn more.
To access weather forecasts and warnings for your state from NOAA/National Weather Service, click here.
Sources for this page include: