North Wildwood’s Emergency Preparedness website

2510, 2023

Can one prepare for everything?

Can one prepare for everything? This is a question that many ask.   The answer is both yes and no – no because there are too many variables in what the future may bring, but the answer is yes if you look at events differently.  If you prepare by looking at the components rather than focusing on the event itself you can be prepared for a multitude of different events.  The components are the common needs that will be present at all events.   We can identify them when we make our plan or checklist.  You will find the differences between events will generally fall on external or environmental issues  – the prevailing weather conditions.  Common to most events, such as an ice storm, electric outage, flooding, or other events you will have one of two options, that is to stay or leave, also known as, Shelter in Place or Evacuation.   First, look at sheltering in place which is basically staying at home as long as your house is habitable.  The main component of sheltering-in-place preparedness centers on your food and water supplies and your house being habitable.   Habitable also means that your house is not damaged by the event and you have a heat source if it is cold out and electricity or some other power source such as a generator or battery power supply.  If your house is not habitable then your option is to evacuate. The best way to evacuate is to go to a relative or friend’s home that is in a safe location.  The last resort is to go to a public shelter.  When you run the numbers there is no way that any town can provide shelter for every person that resides in it.   Probably a realistic number that our shelters can handle is somewhere between 5 and 10 percent of the full-time population.   Once you identified the core components and have determined what you need to be prepared then focus on the differences between events, which we have already identified as external or environmental issues.   You prepare for these by purchasing everyday items that have multiple uses.   For example, purchase a raincoat that is large enough to wear over a jacket or sweater so you can use it in both warm and cold weather.    Purchase hip boots to wear in flooding conditions and for your fishing trip,  Also get them large enough to wear heavy socks in the winter.   Most individuals and families will have most of what they need on hand to start with.   Probably the only thing that most will need is to add several days of extra non-perishable food supplies to their pantry.   Making a plan is simple when you consider we make plans all the time.   Most of the plans are in our minds as we think over what we need to do before we do something, other times we make checklists or as many do cross off lists when we travel or go grocery shopping,  whether it be what clothes to pack, what route to take, or what to purchase.   We like checklists, whether it be a Do then Check off the list or Check and then Do the action type of List, either way, you get the same result – that is you are prepared for what you intend on doing.   To learn more about the different things needed be prepared check out the preparedness links by clicking on the  “Be Prepared” link at the top of the page and on the right-hand column.

709, 2023

September is National Preparedness Month

September is designated as “National Preparedness Month”.  If you followed our information about Preparedness on this webpage and on our Facebook Page you might already be prepared so we won’t go into much detail but cover the key points in Preparedness.

  1. The first thing we should do is a realistic risk assessment – sounds difficult but it really isn’t.    We are primarily dealing with weather-related issues so focus on that area, remembering that what you prepare to do for severe weather can be used for non-weather events.   We start by listing weather events by frequency and severity.   The ones that are probably most important are those weather events that occur more frequently and are more severe as what you prepare for them can be used in less severe circumstances.
  2. Now knowing what to prepare for follow the “be prepared” links on this page and learn what you need to do.   In addition to preparing for the specific weather event remember to look at the options that may be necessary such as evacuation or sheltering in place.   The plan can be as in-depth as you want or something as simple as a checklist.   With the intent to use your plan for different events probably a checklist format would work the best.
  3. Put your plan in place, that is look at all aspects of your plan and ensure you have everything you need.  For those items that you have to purchase make a list and fit these items into your budget and get them when you can.  Whether it is to build an emergency food stock or purchase boots for high water.  When you plan your purchases try to get items that have multiple uses, such as insulated high-water boots that can be used in snow and water and foods that you use regularly so you can rotate your supplies.
  4. Drill your plan – If you are single, a couple, or a family make sure all involved are aware of the plan and know what it contains.   The drill could be something as simple as going down the list and checking the items mentioned in the plan or actually carrying out what the plan calls for.
  5. Lastly,  Now that you have a workable plan and you are ready for the next storm you need adequate notice to implement the plan.   You have to make it a habit to check the current weather and future weather forecasts on a regular basis.   If you connect this to something you do every day, such as checking your email or social media accounts, it will be a habit in no time.   If you use your smartphone get an app that provides you with the latest weather and alerts.   The difference between having several hours to a day’s notice to get ready versus getting notice and having to do something immediately greatly increases one survivability in an emergency.


2407, 2023

Time to get ready for a El Niño winter . . .

Various commercial and amateur weather outlets present long-term winter forecasts at this time of the year and we have been looking at many of them.    In the world of preparedness, the more time you have before a possible event will affect you, the more time you have to be better prepared.   These forecasts are not set in stone and there will be regular revisions up until the time the storm hits us.   Nonetheless, there is a core element affecting the weather this winter and that is El Niño.    Looking at the past history and viewing the different forecasts,  El Niño years often bring Nor’easters and depending on the path the Nor’easter takes can bring blizzards to the Northeast.  El Niño years don’t necessarily mean more total snow for us but it seems there are higher chances for one or more severe storms.    Considering that in El Niño year of 1979, we had close to 2 feet of snow in one storm,  in February 2010 just as the 2009 El Niño was winding down we had an ice storm that knocked out electricity for close to a week and in February 2016, during an El Niño, we had winter storm Jonas it would be prudent to believe that the chances for us to experience severe weather this winter are higher than normal.   What to do?  First, you can look back to the beginning of the month when we all lost electricity – What did you learn from that event?   Do you have an alternative source of electricity?   Whether it be a generator, solar solution, or portable power station (battery solution) you should have something to at least get you through a short power outage.   Next, are you prepared, do you have the proper outerwear to use during snow storms, cold weather, and coastal flooding?  this is followed closely by your vehicle and home, are they ready for the winter?  Anti-freeze, tires, storm windows,  etc.   In most cases, one already has what is needed to survive a severe winter storm – it’s more about where you put them (clothes, boots, etc.) the last time you used them or did you discard them as you didn’t think you would need them as we live at the shore.   Take the time to review the Winter weather preparedness tips that are available on this website, by clicking on the “Be Prepared” link at the top of the page,  and as you do you will learn what you may need to do or get.   Who knows thinking about winter storms during the hot temperatures we are currently experiencing may make you feel cooler.  It’s not too early to be prepared for winter.

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.