North Wildwood’s Emergency Preparedness website
(09/28/18) From time to time people will call the Emergency Management Office and inquire why they weren’t called for the last flood. Most of the time the person didn’t get a call because they were not in the area the call was sent to. Now is a good time to go over how Code Red works. The City of North Wildwood, like most municipalities in the County, has a contract with Code Red to send out calls to residents. Code Red can be accessed by emergency managers by either the Internet or Phone. The process takes three steps – first we select the Audience -the Audience is the residents and it is geographic based – the emergency managers select an area of town that we want to send a message to or we can select the entire town; next we create the message – which can voice, tty, email, Code Red mobile app, and text message; and lastly we create a scenario which is simply connecting a audience and message together. We then set a time to launch the scenario. This takes a few minutes to do so we have canned scenarios for the frequently situations we encounter, such as flooding from rain, tidal flooding, tornado, or snow emergency. Currently police, fire and OEM have the ability to create and send messages and most messages are sent by Police Dispatch at the request of a NWOEM staff member or Police Shift supervisor.
Now that you know how Code Red works how do you get on the “list”. From time to time we get a call from someone who wants to be added to the list. Before Code Red many years ago we had a list where you had to opt in on a flood warning list. As Code Red is a basically a reverse 9-1-1 call all Verizon and Comcast wired phones are automatically in the Code Red database. These numbers are updated on a regular basis directly with Code Red. As many of these numbers can be un-listed we have no ability to see if your number is in the system. Code Red allows and we recommend that you sign up your cell phone and email address to be certain you don’t miss the calls. You can do so by clicking on the Code Red link located on the left hand side of the Ready.northwildwood.com website. At the end you will be asked to create an account – it is a good idea to do so that you can go back and add, change or delete information. Remember you can add as many numbers as you want and if you enter a number that is already in the system – you will only get one call as the Code Red system recognizes duplicates and only sends one call.
Now that you are registered – why didn’t you get a call? Remember all calls go to a specific geographic area which is the service address for the Verizon and Comcast landline phones and the address you put in when you entered your information at the Code Red website. Other than city wide calls which are only used for events that will affect the entire city most calls are for either flooding by rain and tidal flooding. The OEM staff picked out the areas that are regularly affected by those two situation and created two different area (or audiences). Sometimes water will show up elsewhere or exceed the area designated.
The first map shows the area or audience that the tidal flooding calls go to.
The next map shows the area or audience that the flooding from rain goes to.
Lastly we get calls from people that signed up their cell phones and email addresses and have moved out of the area and don’t want to get calls. If they have created an account when they added their numbers they can simply login to the Code Red website and delete the account. If they forgot their login or neglected to create one and want to take their names out they can contact the OEM office and leave a message with name, address, number and email address they want deleted. A staff member will add that information to the the do not call list.
At a recent meeting of County Emergency Managers a representative from Atlantic City Electric spoke about a change in their approach to major outages since their recent merger with Exelon Corporation which should be of interest to you. Exelon Corporation is the parent company to six of the nations largest electric providers. Exelon’s approach to major outages is “all hands on deck” in that they will send resources from other owned companies to our area in the event of a major outage. So you may see crews from Washington, Baltimore, Philadephia, Delmarva or Chicago working along ACE personnel. In return the ACE crews may be sent to other areas to assist. The change in policy will allow quicker return to service in the event of a major outage. This is good news for us. On the downside it may take longer to get that street light repaired if the crews are out of the area for outages elsewhere. The last major outage was the 2010 Ice storm where portions of North Wildwood was out for almost a week.
It is National Hurricane Preparedness Week with it’s daily reminders. We will post the entire week on our Ready website while we will post the tip of the day on the Facebook page each day. The week starts on Sunday and ends on Saturday. The topics are Sunday – Determine Your Risks, Monday – Develop an Evacuation Plan, Tuesday – Assemble Disaster Supplies, Wednesday – Get an Insurance Check-up, Thursday – Strengthen Your Home, Friday – Help Your Neighbor, and Saturday -Complete a Written Plan. See the below graphics for more information and for more ideas click on the “Be Prepared” link on this page.
(3/20) The Nor’Easter of the week will form later today and hit us tomorrow. After looking over all the different warnings, watches and forecasts issued by the National Weather Service we can expect up to 5 inches of snow tomorrow with most likely less closer to the shore. Winds are called to be in the 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 50 mph currently at the North Wildwood weather station the winds have been in the mid to upper teens. The wind advisory ends at 6pm tonight. What we have to watch is the tidal flooding – we are looking for three consecutive tides with minor and moderate flooding. We are looking for a tide of 6.6 feet above MLLW for tonight’s 10:59 PM High tide which is minor tidal flooding, For Wednesday’s 11:23AM High tide we are looking at a tide of 7.0 feet above MLLW which is near Moderate flooding and for Wednesday’s 11:45PM High tide we are looking at a tide of 7.1 feet above MLLW which is near Moderate flooding. These are only predictions so they can change. Thursday the tides return to near normal with no predicted flooding. For comparison purposes the Saturday March 3rd evening high tide was 7.0 feet and the Sunday March 4th morning high tide was 7.06 feet above MLLW. As we can expect consecutive periods of flooding we are going to send a code red message to those in the flooding area at 5PM this afternoon
(03/13) Today members of the OEM staff attended a Webinar on NJ Register Ready and it was a timely reminder that we should talk about it again. NJ Register Ready is the database that North Wildwood uses to identify those with special needs in the event of an emergency. The Fire Department will reach out to those on the list prior to an emergency such as a hurricane or during an emergency such as a prolonged power failure to check on the individuals to see if they need assistance. You can register at http://www.registerready.nj.gov where you can create a logon and password, so you can go back in and update your information, and then enter your information. If you add an email address you will get a yearly reminder to update your information. The registry survey is simple to fill out and has check boxes for most questions. You can even add your pets in the registry. Alternate ways to add your name to the registry is to call 2-1-1 and ask the public assistance operator to enter the information for you or reach out to the County Offices of Emergency Management which also have been designated as locations you can call to register. Also you can have a caretaker or relative add your information to the database. NJ Register Ready is an important tool for first responders and emergency planners during emergencies. Please take advantage of it.
July 1, 2014
As we are already a month into the new hurricane season and our first tropical storm has been named it is time to check our emergency plans and preparation. We urge everyone to visit the links on the left hand side of this page. They are links listed under BE PREPARED. Preparation is not hard and while most preparation needs will be the same for everyone each person will have to come up with his or her own plan. By visiting the suggested websites and tailoring the information to your specific situation you can check your plans and ultimately will be better prepared.
Also today due to the many requests to be added to the flood notification list we have expanded the flood notification to all residents west of New York Avenue from Spruce to 26th Avenues. Phones in these areas will be called and a recorded message will played. There are two messages that can be sent one known as the initial call sent when it appears that flooding will take place and one sent when the siren has been sounded. These phone calls are sent via the CODE RED Community Alert System. Read below to how to add your cell or other phone numbers. REMEMBER this system is used city wide for other notifications so if you are not in the flood prone area you still should visit the CODE RED website and add your alternate phone numbers.
Currently the Code Red Community Alert System will dial every Verizon and Comcast Phone in North Wildwood. However with many people relying on Cellular phones the system will enable you to add phones to your address. Remember this system is based on North Wildwood addresses so when you sign up you need to attach your out of town phone to your North Wildwood address. Being addressed based the city will be using the system to alert those in flood prone areas of flood warnings, those on the snow emergency routes to move their cars and on occasion when there is a natural gas leak or police emergency a circular area around the incident will be notified. Those of you visiting this page can follow this link to get a head start on signing up your “other” phones (Click on the CODE RED LOGO)
On the Code Red website you will be asked if you want to add your email address or receive text messages. We have the ability to duplicate the contents of the voice message into an email and truncated text message. As this will only be used in an emergency why not add all your contact preferences and methods so you can keep informed. Also those with “smart” phones will have the capability to download the Code Red App.
At the North Wildwood Office of Emergency Management we feel our central job is to keep communications when the normal systems are failing. Therefore we don’t put one form of communication above another. At times some may seem simplistic in these times of technology however when normal systems fail we will fall back on them. That is why we depend on a fire siren, AM radio and telephone as basic methods of notification. We will be using North Wildwood’s AM1640 as the method of communication that can put the most information out. Please get your self a good AM radio. Remember when there are no emergencies AM 1640 broadcasts special event information – ever wondered what time the free concert starts and who is playing? it is on AM 1640; want to know what the start and end times of the festival in the entertainment district? it’s on AM 1640 as well as the upcoming events for the next several weeks.