North Wildwood’s Emergency Preparedness website

1305, 2022

Awareness / Preparedness Week 2022

Next Week Monday through Friday  (May 16th – 20th, 2022) will be North Wildwood’s Annual Preparedness / Awareness Week, a time where all municipal departments review their preparedness for a disaster or emergency event prior to the June 1st start of Hurricane Season. During the week the Office of Emergency Management will be posting information on their Facebook Page on the Municipal Warning Systems (Code Red Emergency Notification System, the 1640 AM Radio Station, and the Warning Sirens) along with other information.  During the week on Tuesday, May 17th at 11 AM we will be testing the Flood Siren and on Thursday, May 19th at 11 AM we will be testing the Tornado Siren to familiarize the public with the siren patterns used for the respective warnings. We will be sending messages via the Code Red ENS  the day before and on the day of the Siren tests so you know they are a test and not an actual event. More information will be posted on the OEM Facebook page (CLICK HERE).   If you don’t have Facebook all the information we will post during the week has been covered here in the past and can be found by scrolling down on this page to “click here for archive noticeswhich after you click it opens to a page showing all the posts since 2018. As the City is reviewing what to do this week, perhaps, take a few moments of time to review your own preparedness. Do you know what to do if you had to evacuate? Do you know what to do if we have a prolonged outage of electricity? Do you have adequate supplies for a prolonged period of sheltering in place? To refresh yourself on preparedness take a moment to explore the links on our “Be Prepared” page – Click on the link at the top of this page or on the right-hand side to visit that page.

1404, 2022

Springtime brings Severe Weather . . .

Spring weather patterns, where warm and cold fronts clash, bring a greater chance of Severe Weather to much of the country, and our area is no exception. The first step in preparedness is awareness of upcoming weather. With current smartphones or computers linked to the Internet, we have the ability to get regular weather forecasts, and weather alerts and have the ability to do real-time monitoring of the weather. In this post, we will highlight some of our favorite apps and websites that one can use or visit to monitor the weather.

Apps – We like the no-nonsense NWS-NOW app which has no advertising – just the weather. The app is not available in the google app store so you’ll have to go to www.nwsnow.net and use the link there for the free download. It gives you current conditions, severe weather alerts, radar maps, a 7-day forecast, hourly conditions, and for those that want to learn more about the weather forecast discussions. One of the best features is that you can set it up to use your phone’s GPS location so where ever you may be you’ll know the weather. 

Next in the Apps is the FEMA APP from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This is another no-nonsense app that allows you to select from a list of every conceivable weather condition to receive Emergency Alerts for a specific location that you can enter. Also, there are dropdowns that give you preparedness tips, as well as, you can set the app to remind you to test smoke alarms, update your emergency kit, etc.  This is available free in the Google App Store.

Websites – First and foremost you can’t beat the National Weather Service website for information. The problem for many there is so much available information you can get overwhelmed. The best way to handle this is to bookmark the pages you will want to go back and visit. The first web page we use daily is the NWS main page https://www.weather.gov where you can enter a city name or zip code to get the local forecast where ever you may be located. To get to the web page for North Wildwood weather CLICK HERE The next NWS page we check often is the Daily Briefing https://www.weather.gov/briefing/ a web page that looks at the entire country plus contains links to obtain more information. This is a great web page to look at if you planning a trip outside the area. During Hurricane season we visit often the National Hurricane Center to get the information directly from the source. The website is https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

Here are some other websites that provide similar information, some in a different format that you might like better, and others with additional information which you might find helpful.

Weather Underground Wondermap website – https://www.wunderground.com/wundermap. This is a map that shows all the personal weather stations in a given area. We have seen up to seven personal weather stations in North Wildwood (some are occasionally offline and are not shown). They display data in the same format even though they may be different brand weather stations. We use them to compare rainfall amounts and times when the rain starts and ends. A great resource that once you use it you will go back to again and again. This is real-time information and the weather stations are everywhere so the next time you hear about severe weather in a certain area of the country take a moment and locate a weather station near the severe weather and watch the weather change in real-time.

The Ventusky website – https://www.ventusky.com/ this is a website where you can see an almost unlimited amount of data in a graphic format so it can be clearly understood. For example under the cloud drop-down, you can display total cloud cover, fog, low clouds, middle clouds, and high clouds. With other data, you have the option to display it at different heights above ground. Data is displayed in different colors for different measurements. A handy key on the right side shows what each color equates to. Additionally, you can see past weather and future forecasts.

The Windy.com Website – https://www.windy.com/ this website is similar to Ventusky’s graphic display with information shown in colors except where Venusky seems to be for pilots with information at different elevations Windy is for boaters where you can display Waves, swells, and sea temperatures. You also can display different forecast models for the upcoming week. You also can show webcams that are mainly highway cameras to see the weather in real-time. The nearest cameras are in Rio Grande and Cape May Court House.

The Tropical Tidbits website – https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/ this is our go-to website to check on the different forecast models. Under the current storms tab, you will see hurricanes and the different forecast paths. Under the forecast models tab, you will see various models and have the ability to put the map in motion to see what the future weather is predicted to be in up to 384 hours (16 days in the future). Again, another website that has so much information that you may be overwhelmed along with information that you might not understand, it is nonetheless a good resource for the advanced weather watcher.

To see storm chasers in action The Severe Studios Website – https://www.severestudios.com/livechase/ has a map where it will show those storm chasers that upload live video from their vehicles. The only time when you’ll see something is when there is severe weather. The next time you hear about tornadoes breaking out down south visit the website and see live videos. While this isn’t local weather what you see can help you prepare for similar weather in our area.

Last but not least is North Wildwood’s weather station which is located at the 5th Street boat ramp. To visit it go here http://173.15.136.30/datawise/DashBoards/wx.php . One feature you won’t get elsewhere is the tide gauge showing the current tide information. This is a one-stop spot for boaters who wants to know which tide it is and what the wind speed and direction is.

Remember no matter how you keep up on the weather it should become a regular habit to check on the weather so that you don’t have to wait until an alert is issued and then rush to be ready. The more lead time you have for a severe weather event the better the chances are to survive without loss of life or property.

103, 2022

New to the town? Here is what you need to know . . .

Over the past several years we have posted here and on our Facebook page a lot of information. For the new property owner, new renter, or simply a visitor we will try to sum up what someone who is new in town needs to know about emergency management. Perhaps the easiest way to present a lot of diverse information is to simply make a list. The order of the list does not reflect the importance. Let’s start by breaking the list into two areas Alerts and Preparedness . . .

ALERTS

  • North Wildwood uses Code Red as its Emergency Notification System. In some areas, these systems are known as Reverse 9-1-1 as they can contact all Verizon or Comcast “hard-line” phones, whether it is a listed or unlisted number. No worries all numbers are updated on a regular basis directly to Code Red and we are unable to see any of the numbers in the system.
  • You can add cell phones, TTY Machines, out of town phones, receive emails and text messages by adding your information to the system by using the links on this page. Remember to set up a password so that you can go back and change or delete your information.   If you are one of those people who got rid of the hardline phone and only uses a cell phone you need to sign up to get emergency notifications.
  • Code Red is a geographic-based system in that you have to attach your information to a local address. You will only get messages for events that affect your specific address.
  • While signing up for Code Red you can opt-in for Severe Weather Alerts so that anytime a Severe Weather Warning is issued for our specific area you will receive it.
  • North Wildwood on occasion uses emergency sirens for important warnings,  The sirens use different patterns for different warnings please see the graphic at the bottom of this post to see what the different patterns indicate.
  • During emergencies, the City has the ability to use the City’s 1640AM Radio Station to provide information to the public.  You will be instructed by a Code Red call to tune in to 1640AM for emergency messages, live broadcasts, and important information that is too long to send via a phone call.   Messages on 1640 AM are recorded and repeated over and over.   When not an emergency general information is broadcasted.
  • While Police, Fire, and Emergency Management utilize  Code Red for emergency notifications the Police Department uses NIXEL for traffic Advisories.  You have to sign up for NIXEL to receive text or email messages.   You can sign up for NIXEL messages at https://local.nixle.com/signup/widget/m/2022
  • North Wildwood uses New Jersey Register Ready as the Special Needs Register for residents.    You can sign up at https://www13.state.nj.us/SpecialNeeds/Signin?ReturnUrl=%2fSpecialNeeds%2f   or you can call 211 for an operator to assist you in registering.    Here is the description of the service from the website:  “Register Ready – New Jersey’s Special Needs Registry for Disasters” allows New Jersey residents with disabilities or access and functional needs and their families, friends, caregivers, and associates an opportunity to provide information to emergency response agencies so emergency responders can better plan to serve them in a disaster or other emergency. The information collected here is confidential and will not be available to the public. The information will be held securely and only used for emergency response and planning.

PREPAREDNESS

  • When we talk about Preparedness the first thing we must realize is there always has been a period of time from the event until assistance from FEMA will arrive.    Years ago you were told all you needed was food and supplies for three days before help would arrive. In recent years the number of days before assistance will arrive has been increased from 3 days to 7 days with a few times they are saying 10 days and sometimes we have seen longer periods of time. What does this mean? You should be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for 7 to 10 days.   While it sounds like a lot if you added an extra item to your pantry each time you went food shopping in no time you would have a supply of extra food on hand.   The key is to simply plan.
  • Family emergency plans, whether formal or informal, are key to surviving a disastrous event.  At the top of this page follow the link BE PREPARED to a page listing many links for preparedness information for specific information.
  • When planning for different emergencies don’t look for the differences between emergencies – look for the similarities it will make your preparations simpler.   For example, items that you would need for sheltering in place during a snowstorm, where you can’t get out, will be the same you will need following a power outage situation where stores are not open.
  • Get into a preparedness mindset, i.e.,  regularly fuel your vehicle and never let it get too low in case you have to evacuate or a power outage where gas stations are closed; keep an eye on your pantry to see that you have adequate non-perishable food supplies on hand;  If you take regular medication make sure you have several weeks on hand at all times;  have some emergency cash on hand at all times in case of breakdown or electric outage where credit or debit cards can’t be used; and make it a habit to regularly check the weather and be ready for rain, snow or fog and prepare accordingly.    The more you think about preparedness you will find that that many habits you have are actually preparedness – such as taking an umbrella with you when there is a chance of rain or checking the wiper fluid on a snowy day.   Also regularly check your pantry before you go grocery shopping to see you don’t forget anything.
  • Take advantage of technology – download the FEMA app to your phone,  Download your favorite weather app to your phone,  or even download the CodeRed app.   These apps on your phone will alert you to severe weather or other emergencies.    Remember to make sure you set up the application to receive emergency messages for your area or another area where you are with your phone (allow the app to use the phone’s GPS to get the alert for where you are at).
These are just a few of the many things we have posted over the years on the OEM Website and Facebook pages.  Take a moment to check the archived notices and explore the links so you are familiar with the ones you might want to check regularly.

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)

codered1

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.