It’s too soon to tell how Hurricane Joaquin will affect Middletown, but it’s never too early to starting preparing for the impact of a storm.
“Advance planning makes it easier to deal with weather events and emergencies that may affect us,” said Mayor Stephanie Murray. “Please make sure you know what you and family know should do if the power goes out, if you need to evacuate, or if school is closed.”
Staying informed is also essential. Follow the local news and weather channels. Residents should also register for township alerts at www.middletownnj.org/register, said Mayor Murray. Township messages may be sent as emails, texts or voice calls. Updates are also posted to the www.middletownnj.org, on Facebook at MiddletownNjTownHall, and Twitter at middletownnj.
Residents living in flood prone areas are particularly being urged to stay aware and plan, before a potential storm strikes. Those residents are usually affected by heavy rains and have the highest risk for flooding, she said.
“Middletown Township is working to ensure that our staff is completely prepared to respond effectively and efficiently should the storm impact us. In an effort to ensure public safety, we ask that residents do the same,” said Mayor Murray.
Steps the township takes well in advance of a storm include inspecting equipment and vehicles, monitoring fuel levels, and readying portable pumps and generators, said Public Works Director Ted Maloney.
Steps that all residents can take include:
• Have a family disaster plan ready. Know where you will be evacuating to, and plan ahead to stay with family and friends or lodging outside the area. Be sure to provide shelter for your pets and notify friends and family of your plans.
• Bring all outdoor items such as garbage cans, lawn furniture and other items inside prior to the storm.
• Remove debris and keep trees trimmed.
• Inspect outside drains to make sure they are free of clogging.
• Secure and board up windows in your home.
• Cars and boats should be moved to higher ground before exiting your home.
• Store valuables and important documents in a waterproof safety deposit box in the highest level of your home.
• Make sure generators are in working condition.
• Before evacuating, check with your utility company in advance to find out what should be turned off.
• Make sure your car has a full tank of gas, cells phones are fully charged, prescription medications are filled and have enough money, clothes, blankets, diapers, formula and personal items to get you through several days.
• Prior to leaving, unplug appliances, lock your home and do not return until the area is deemed safe.
Visit www.ready.nj.gov for more information on how to plan and prepare for storms and other emergencies.