Due to the arrival of winter storm Stella, Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez, liaison to the Camden County Department of Health and Human Services, advises municipalities that Camden County will be under a Code Blue Emergency through Wednesday morning.
The Camden County Health Officer issued the Code Blue Emergency effective from 6 p.m. tonight continuously through to 7 a.m. on March 15. All Municipalities are expected to activate their Code Blue Response Plan to accommodate their immediate needs.
“A nor’easter is bringing bitterly cold temperatures to our area, along with snow, sleet and freezing rain. Everyone should be sheltered and out of the elements during this severe weather,” Rodriguez said. “If you must leave the house, please dress yourself and your children in warm clothing, hats and gloves. Also, please remember to check on elderly relatives and neighbors, and bring your pets indoors.”
Tonight’s temperatures will dip below freezing as snow begins after 9 p.m. The storm system will bring wind gusts up to 25 miles per hour. There is the potential for 10 to 16 inches of snow to accumulate before the storm ends Tuesday night.
When the Camden County Health Officer declares a Severe Weather Emergency, municipalities with homeless populations, situational homeless or transient populations are expected to activate their Code Blue response plan to accommodate their immediate needs.
“During these weather emergencies, we encourage everyone to check on elderly or handicapped relatives and neighbors that live alone,” Rodriguez said. “It is important that most vulnerable among us are not left without heat or electricity.”
The Camden County Health Department and the Office of Emergency Management have worked with each municipality to ensure they have the proper resources to respond to these severe weather situations as part of their individual Code Blue plans. Each municipality has identified its own location to accommodate those in their community seeking shelter from the severe weather.
Persons seeking shelter in a warming center should contact their local municipality. Additional resources are available by calling the Camden County Department of Health and Human Services at (800) 999-9045, or by visiting www.camdencounty.com.
The Office of Emergency Management is also monitoring conditions.
“As this weather pattern continues, please, if possible, stay indoors today to keep warm and stay out of the elements,” said Freeholder Jonathan Young. “If you must go out, please take precautions to keep you and your family safe from the extreme temperatures.”
Freeholder Young offers residents the following tips:
- Dress in layers and cover your exposed skin to avoid frostbite.
- It only takes 30 to 45 minutes for exposed skin to develop frostbite.
- Mittens keep children’s hands warmer than gloves.
- Avoid wearing cotton, it holds in moisture and loses its insulating properties.
- Remember that even clear-looking sidewalks can be slippery.
- Keep dog walks brief, don’t leave animals outside and consider a dog coat.
- Please check on your neighbors, especially those that are elderly, disabled or live alone.
- Using your ceiling fan clockwise on low recirculates warm air through the room.
- Never use a stove, oven or a gas grill to heat your home.
- Use space heaters safely on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least three feet away. Turn off space heaters before going to bed.
- Wood -burning fireplaces should have a glass or metal screen large enough to catch sparks or rolling logs. Never leave children alone in the room when a fire is lit. Keep all flammable items at least three feet away from the fireplace. Always make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.
- Keep your thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Your heating bill may be a little higher, but you could avoid the costly repair of pipes that freeze and burst.
- To prevent pipes from freezing, run water, even at a trickle. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing, but be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children. Keep garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage.
- In order to conserve electricity, turn off lights and appliances that you do not need or are not using.
- At night, cover windows with drapes or blankets to minimize heat loss. During the day, open blinds to let sun warm the space.In case of a power outage please report it directly to the appropriate utility provider list below:
- PSE&G: 1-800-436-PSEG (7734)
- PSEG website: http://pseg.com/home/customer_service/outage_info/index.jsp
- Atlantic City Electric: 1-800-833-7476
- Atlantic City Electric website: http://www.atlanticcityelectric.com/home/
- South Jersey Gas: 1-800-582-7060
- South Jersey Gas website: http://southjerseygas.com/