North Wildwood’s Emergency Preparedness website

1405, 2021

Preparedness / Awareness Week

This year’s Preparedness / Awareness Week will be next week,  May 17th through May 21st, 2021,  This year we are focusing on public notifications.   During the week Emergency Management, Police and Fire Departments will be reviewing the procedures to send the public emergencies notifications.   Part of the review will be the actual sending of Code Red Messages and the sounding of the Emergency Warning Sirens.    Below is an outline of the week.

MONDAY – May 17th, 2021 – Your Office of Emergency Management will be posting information on it’s Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/NWEmergencyManagement information on the Municipal Warning systems.    A Code Red Message will be sent to those in the flood prone area of town regarding a test of the flood siren on Tuesday.

TUESDAY – May 18th, 2021 – The Office of Emergency Management will be posting flood related information on it’s Facebook Page.   At 10AM a Code Red message reminding everyone that the Flood Siren will be sounded at 11AM will be sent by the OEM.    At 11AM the Police Department will sound the Flood Warning siren and send a message that the sounding was a test.

WEDNESDAY – May 19th, 2021 – The Office of Emergency Management will be posting information on the Emergency Notification Matrix showing the different notification systems and their uses.     The OEM will be sending a Code Red Message giving advance notice that there will be a Tornado Siren Test on Thursday at 11AM.

THURSDAY – May 20th, 2021 – The Office of Emergency Management will be posting information on Severe Weather on it’s Facebook Page.   At 10AM a Code Red message reminding everyone that the Tornado Siren will be tested at 11AM will be sent by the OEM.    At 11AM the Police Department will sound the Tornado Siren and send a message that the sounding was a test.

FRIDAY – May 21st, 2021 – The Office of Emergency Management will be posting information about Preparedness on it’s Facebook Page.

During the week various agencies will be dialing into North Wildwood’s Emergency Radio Station 1640AM and conducting live broadcasts generally consisting of the words testing and a number count.   Radio 1640AM will be used to covey updated information that is longer than a Code Red Message.   In the event a live message is to broadcasted a Code Red message will be sent first alerting the public to tune to 1640AM at a specific time.

 

1904, 2021

New Jersey Register Ready

“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. One can register at http://www.registerready.nj.gov/ website or if you do not have a computer or you can dial 211 (toll-free) and an operator will assist you in registering. The information collected is confidential and will not be available to the public. The information will be held securely and only used for emergency response and planning. How we use the Register Ready database is when a hurricane is approaching our area with a chance of evacuations the Fire Department will contact those on the Register Ready list to see if they have made arrangements to evacuate prior to the storm and what are their current needs.  This helps in planning what resources are needed for the upcoming storm.

An Important note that is posted on the Register Ready website is that “The first line of defense against the effects of a disaster is personal preparedness. During an emergency, the government and other agencies may not be able to meet your needs. It is important for all citizens to make their own emergency plans and prepare for their own care and safety in an emergency. Registering on this website is not a guarantee that emergency officials will be able to assist you in an emergency.” We cannot stress enough how important it is that you have your own emergency plan which includes places to go if evacuation is necessary and quantities of food, water, medications if you have to shelter in place. The facts are that in our community of around 4,000 year round residents and well over 50,000 visitors during the height of the summer the contingency of less than 60 first responders (when you take in consideration the number of employees in time off and those volunteers not available) can not evacuate everyone and provide emergency responses to all calls for service.

We encourage you if you meet the criteria for adding your information to NJ Register Ready, to do so, as part of your preparedness plan. With that said we ask that when you register on the NJ Register Ready website you create an account so that you can go back and update the information accordingly. When we check the information before storms we often find that several of those registered have moved, passed away or have entered incomplete information.

2302, 2021

Why aren’t elevations of Land and water the same?

A question we some times receive is “My home’s first floor is supposed to be at 10 feet so when we get a seven foot flood tide will the water be three feet below my floor level?”  The simple answer is No,  but to understand why we must first look at the different ways that land and tidal water is measured.    Because land is static, that is never changes,  there is a datum or reference point that is called the North America Vertical Datum 1988 or NAVD88.   This datum is where “zero” is using NAVD88 reference point.   As tidal water height changes depending on the tide the datum or reference point used is the Mean Lower Low Water or MLLW datum.   This is the point where “zero” in the vertical measurement using the MLLW reference point.   MLLW water is the average of the lower low water heights of each tidal day over a specific 19 year period (currently 1983 to 2001).   The distance the tide rises from low tide to high tide is different at different Latitudes.  for example in Florida the tide will only rise about a foot  from low to high whereas in Maine the tide will rise over 14 feet every low to high tides.   This means that the MLLW is different at every location.   That is why we have different tide tables for each different location.  As not every location has a tide predictions you have to use the closest for your location, so for North Wildwood’s back bay tide we use the West Wildwood tide predictions.   To see tide predictions for different locations (click here) .   Now that we know that land and tidal water are measured using different reference points we need to figure out what the relationship  between MLLW and NAVD88  for our specific area.   To determine the relationship we to look for a National Geodetic Survey or NGS benchmark.   There are many of these located around the area.  One is located on the entrance way to City Hall.   Most show only vertical elevation of the marker that is put there by the NGS.   Only a few have the relationships to tidal water.   The closest one with tidal water is Benchmark Station #8535835.   Looking at the information (see below) we learn that for our area zero feet NVGD88 is equal to 2.75 feet MLLW. So to convert a MLLW height in our area to a NAVD88 height just subtract 2.75 feet or conversely to change a NAVD88 height to MLLW height you add 2.75 feet. Each town will have a different
relationship and number to add/subtract from either MLLW or NAVD88, for example in Ocean City you use 2.06 feet and in Stone Harbor you use 2.66 feet.  Now to answer the original question   “My home’s first floor is supposed to be at 10 feet so when we get a seven foot flood tide will the water be three feet below my floor level?”   As buildings are on land NAVD88  reference point was used to obtain your homes first floor height of 10 feet which after you do the math is equivalent to 12.75 feet above MLLW.      Working from the flood water height of 7.0 feet using the MLLW reference point you find that the water height is equivalent to 4.25 feet NAVD88 or 5.75 feet below your 10 foot floor height.   Even though the water will not enter your house you still have to be concerned with your yard, garage, sheds, etc.  As landscaping, curb heights, driveways can change your yards elevation it is important that you make note of where the water comes up when it is at a specific height.   As wind driven water and at times of heavy rain with flooding can raise the height of water so  it is important to add this information to your notes.   NWOEM posts the tide heights after each flood on the OEM Facebook page.   You can also get the tide heights from the weather station and tide gauge using the link on the left of this page or clicking (HERE)  Remember that the National Weather Service uses the MLLW datum when predicting heights in their Coastal Flood Warnings and Watches.  Also as it is important to boaters to know how much water is below them tide charts are in MLLW datum.   Surveyors use the NAVD88 for land elevations.   A handout with the same information in this post is available on the left hand side of this page at the link called “Vertical Elevations Explained” it also contains a reference chart comparing both datum.    Coming up next year is NAVD22 which will be the first datum using measurement taken by satellite.  Below is a screenshot of the benchmark#8535835

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.