Ocean County Press Release
Ocean County Offers Tips on Preparing for Winter Storms
12/12/2013

TOMS RIVER – With dropping temperatures, predictions of snow and freezing rain there is no doubt winter is not far away and Ocean County officials are urging residents to prepare now for winter weather.

"The extreme cold, freezing rain, snow and strong winds of winter storms can all pose serious threats to people, pets and property," said Ocean County Freeholder Director John P. Kelly, Director of Law and Public Safety. "While Ocean County government departments are prepared for winter weather, I am joining with Acting Sheriff William Sommeling and the Ocean County Office of Emergency Management in urging residents to do the same."

"Biting cold, snow and hazardous conditions can provide a deadly combination," Sommeling noted. "It is important our citizens know what to do and are prepared to handle what winter may bring to our area."

The following tips are provided by the Ocean County Office of Emergency Management.

Before the storm:
• Keep space heaters away from flammable materials and never leave them unattended. Bring pets indoors.
• When using supplemental heating sources such as fireplaces or kerosene space heaters, make sure you have proper ventilation and a carbon monoxide detector in place. Always take your space heater outside to fill it.
• Make sure you have properly installed smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace the batteries every six months.
• Move all vehicles inside the garage if possible. Never leave a vehicle running with the garage doors down.
• Insulate all exposed water pipes outside the home.

During the storm:
• Stay inside.
• Close off unoccupied rooms in the home.
• Do not use charcoal burning devices.
• Wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing. Remove layers as needed to avoid overheating, perspiration and subsequent chill.
• Allow a slow trickle of water to flow from both the hot and cold water faucets, especially if the faucet is on an exterior wall.
• Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to un-insulated pipes and appliances near exterior walls.
• Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids and eat high caloric foods.
• Do not drive unless the roads have been cleared by snowplows.
• Keep a battery operated radio nearby and have fresh batteries on hand.

After the storm:
• Never try to thaw a frozen pipe with an open flame or torch. Shut off water and call a licensed plumber.
• Clear walkways and sidewalks to prevent injury, but avoid overexertion.
• Report damage, such as broken pipes and downed tree branches or power lines to the utility company, if appropriate. Avoid the area to prevent personal injury.
• If you need to drive, check on road conditions and leave yourself extra time.
• When traveling equip your vehicle with a safety kit including blankets, battery jumper cables, and water.

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