BOROUGH OF POMPTON LAKES, NJ
OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
DOs AND DON’Ts TO FOLLOW IN FLOODS, HURRICANES AND TORNADOES
The Borough of Pompton Lakes lies between the Pequannock and Ramapo Rivers, contains the Wanaque River within its borders and is periodically subject to flooding. High water levels can occur at any time of the year, but are more likely to occur during the spring due to rain in combination with snow runoff and during the late summer and fall which is the prime season for tropical storms and hurricanes in the Northern New Jersey area. Combinations of weather conditions that spawn tornadoes also occur in Northern New Jersey.
The Pompton Lakes Office of Emergency Management suggests that this list of Do’s and Don’ts be posted for ready reference by all members of the household.
A FLOOD OR HURRICANE WATCH WILL BE IN EFFECT IF FLOODING OR A HURRICANE IS EXPECTED.
The following precautions should be taken by all residents:
1. Check your home for any loose shingles and shutters, shaky chimneys and other objects such as lawn furniture, toys, garden tools, garbage cans and garbage can covers which can cause damage when carried by high winds. Secure tool sheds and playground sets. Store valuables such as books, photographs, records, etc., in areas of the home which are not subject to inundation.
2. Maintain battery-powered equipment such as radios, flashlights, etc.
3. Each resident of the dwelling should learn the location of the water supply pipeline valves, electrical switches and gas shut off valves. Do not wait until areas of your home become inaccessible to shut off the services.
4. Keep tuned to local radio and television stations for the latest weather advisories and special instructions from your local government. Radio station WGHT in Pompton Lakes (1500 KHZ) will remain on the air or return to the air during storm emergencies and will be the local source of official information. Cable-TV News Channel 12 will also provide up to date information.
5. Keep your cars fueled should evacuation be necessary. Service stations will be inoperable in the event of electrical outages. Move cars to high ground for protection.
6. Store drinking water in clean bathtubs, jugs, bottles, and cooking utensils in the event that the municipal water system is affected by the storm.
7. Board up windows or protect them with storm shutters.
A FLOOD OR HURRICANE WARNING BECOMES EFFECTIVE WHEN FLOODING AND/OR HIGH WINDS ARE IMMINENT. AS THE STORM PROGRESSES TO WHERE FLOODING AND/OR HIGH WINDS EXIST, A FLOOD OR HURRICANE EMERGENCY WILL BE DECLARED.
When a flood or hurricane warning is issued and during an emergency:
1. Mobile broadcast units will be dispatched to the areas effected with local instructions. Listen to WGHT and Channel 12 for further information. Do not call Police Headquarters or the Emergency Management phone to avoid tying up emergency phone lines. Local information will be available from the Borough emergency phone at 835-0143. This number should also be used for requests and offers of assistance. School closings and early dismissal policies are determined by the Board of Education based on the particular situation. Up-to-date information will be available through WGHT and Channel 12.
2. If you choose to remain at home, stay indoors. Keep children of all ages away from the riverbanks and out of the floodwaters. Do not drive unless it is essential.
3. Double check to see that all loose objects are secured and that valuables, furniture and appliances (if possible) are moved to higher areas of the home. Move your automobiles to high ground if the floodwaters are a threat to your area.
4. Make the necessary precautions in the event you choose to or are ordered to evacuate your home. An EVACUATION WARNING will be issued through short, intermittent blasts of the fire sirens. This signal will indicate the possibility of evacuation from your area becoming necessary in the hours following. The SIGNAL TO EVACUATE will be a 3 minute long, continuous blast of the siren. DO NOT HESITATE TO LEAVE YOUR HOME. PROLONGING YOUR DEPARTURE MAKES ACCESS TO YOUR HOME BY RESCUE WORKERS DIFFICULT AS THE STORM PROGRESSES. IF THERE ARE ILL, ELDERLY, OR DISABLED PERSONS IN YOUR HOME PREPARE FOR AN EARLY EVACUATION AS ACCESS BY AMBULANCE ALSO BECOMES DIFFICULT AS THE STORM ADVANCES. Call the Borough emergency number or the Police Department if you require assistance. Be patient.
5. Shutoff water and gas supply lines and electrical circuit breakers, leaving on the breaker controlling a sump pump if you have one.
6. Evacuation shelters will be established at the Lakeside School, St. Mary’s Church and other locations if needed. If you leave your home and do not need public shelter, go to the Lakeside School to register so your whereabouts will be known. Please bring medications and blankets and pillows, if possible. Pets are not permitted in the shelters but will be accepted at the Pompton Lakes Animal Hospital on Cannonball Rd. as a no-fee service.
WHEN THE EMERGENCY IS OVER:
1.Check with local law enforcement agencies to determine if it is safe to re-enter your street and home.
2. Document and photograph (if possible) all damages. Do not dispose of any property without prior approval from your insurance company.
3. WGHT (1500 KHZ) and Channel 12 will provide information on drinking water safety, the issuance of food, water and cleanup kits as well as garbage pickup schedules. Information for FEMA and other agency assistance will also be available.
4. Disinfect areas effected by water with a mild solution of soap and bleach. Lime should be spread over lawn areas to minimize the spread of infectious elements.
5. Remember that in Pompton Lakes the rivers crest approximately 12 hours after the end of the rain and will continue to rise 1 to 1 ½ feet during that time. If you need your basement pumped, call the Fire Dept. at 835-0072 and you will be placed on a waiting list. The Fire Dept. will not begin pumping until the water stops rising. Be patient. Limited facilities and manpower are available.
A TORNADO WATCH means that weather conditions indicate tornadoes are expected to develop. LISTEN for further advisories, and stay alert for sudden strong wind, rain, hail, or a funnel-shaped cloud. A TORNADO WARNING means a tornado has actually been sighted or indicated on radar. Take shelter immediately.
AT HOME, the basement usually offers the best shelter. Get under a sturdy work bench or table. In a home with no basement, take cover in the central part or the lowest floor in a bathroom, a closet, or heavy furniture. Keep some windows open, but stay away from them.
IN SCHOOLS, go to an interior hallway on the lowest floor. Avoid auditoriums, gymnasiums with wide span roofs and areas enclosed with glass..
IN OFFICE BUILDINGS, FACTORIES AND SIMILAR FACILITIES, go to the designated shelter area, not to your parked car.
IF CAUGHT IN OPEN COUNTRY, move away from the tornado’s path at a right angle. If there is no time to escape, lie flat in the nearest ditch or depression.
MOBILE HOMES are particularly vulnerable to overturning during strong winds, and should be evacuated when strong winds are forecast. (Damage can be minimized by securing mobile homes with proper anchoring and tie-down gear). If there is no shelter nearby, leave the mobile home area for low, protected ground.