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Watches and Warnings.....


Familiarize yourself with these terms to help identify watches and warnings associated with tropical systems:

WATCHES


  • Storm Surge Watch: There is a possibility of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the shoreline somewhere within the specified area, generally within 48 hours.
  • Hurricane Watch: Hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or greater) are possible within your area. Because it may not be safe to prepare for a hurricane once winds reach tropical storm force, The NHC issues hurricane watches 48 hours before it anticipates tropical storm-force winds.
  • Tropical Storm Watch: Tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are possible within the specified area within 48 hours.


WARNINGS


  • Storm Surge Warning: There is a danger of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the shoreline somewhere within the specified area, generally within 36 hours. If you are under a storm surge warning, check for evacuation orders from your local officials.
  • Hurricane Warning: Hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or greater) are expected somewhere within the specified area. NHC issues a hurricane warning 36 hours in advance of tropical storm-force winds to give you time to complete your preparations. All preparations should be complete. Evacuate immediately if so ordered.
  • Tropical Storm Warning: Tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected within your area within 36 hours.
  • Extreme Wind Warning: Extreme sustained winds of a major hurricane (115 mph or greater), usually associated with the eyewall, are expected to begin within an hour. Take immediate shelter in the interior portion of a well-built structure.

     Warmer weather brings a variety of potential severe weather emergencies. As the weather becomes more humid during the summer months the potential for hurricanes, thunder and lightning storms increase. 


     Thanks to our friends at Ready.gov, this information explains what actions you can take to prepare for summer weather and how to understand alerts from the National Weather Service.


BE INFORMED

Learn what protective measures to take before, during, and after an emergency


MYTH: I DON’T NEED TO WORRY ABOUT DISASTERS WHERE I LIVE.

Emergency preparedness is not only for those that live in more disaster prone area like California, the Midwest or the Gulf Coast.


Most communities may be impacted by several types of hazards during a lifetime.


Americans are also traveling more than ever before to areas that may have a higher risk of disaster than at home. Knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency is a critical part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count.


Information provided as part of Be Ready. Montclair can help you to learn about potential emergencies that can happen and how to prepare for and respond to them.

     Launched in May 2014, Be Ready. Montclair is a local public service campaign designed to educate residents and business owners in the Montclair area on how to prepare for and respond to emergencies including natural and man-made disasters.

     The goal of the campaign is to get the public involved and ultimately to increase the level of basic preparedness in our area. 

     It is the overall goal of Montclair Ambulance Unit to offer preparedness planning and assistance to every aspect of our community to help reduce the possibility of catastrophic loss as a result of natural or man-made disasters.

     This site will include seasonal preparedness information such as dealing with cold weather emergencies during the winter months and heat related emergencies during the summer. There will also be important links to local, state and federal agencies for further information on how to prepare for emergencies.


What

Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over warm ocean waters and move toward land. Potential threats from hurricanes include powerful winds, heavy rainfall, storm surges, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, tornadoes, and landslides. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. The Pacific hurricane season runs May 15 to November 30.

Where

Can happen along any U.S. coast or in any territory in the Atlantic or Pacific oceans.
Can affect areas more than 100 miles inland.

When

Are most active in September

Communication and Information is key......

Keep a list of contact information for reference. Contacts should include:

  • Local Emergency Management Office
  • Local Law Enforcement
  • Local EMS and Fire
  • State, County and City/Town Government
  • Local Hospitals
  • Local Utilities
  • Local American Red Cross
  • Local TV Stations
  • Local Radio Stations
  • Your Property Insurance Agent

​​​Be Prepared


If you are in an area under a hurricane warning you need to find shelter as soon as possible.


  • Determine how best to protect yourself from high winds and flooding.
  • Evacuate if told to do so.
  • Take refuge in a designated storm shelter, or an interior room for high winds.
  • Listen for emergency information and alerts.
  • Only use generators outdoors and away from windows.
  • Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters.


Prepare Now


  • Know your area’s risk of hurricanes.
  • Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
  • If you are at risk for flash flooding, watch for warning signs such as heavy rain.
  • Practice going to a safe shelter for high winds, such as a FEMA safe room or ICC 500 storm shelter. The next best protection is a small, interior, windowless room in a sturdy building on the lowest level that is not subject to flooding.
  • Based on your location and community plans, make your own plans for evacuation or sheltering in place.
  • Become familiar with your evacuation zone, the evacuation route, and shelter locations.
  • Gather needed supplies for at least three days. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Don’t forget the needs of pets.
  • Keep important documents in a safe place or create password-protected digital copies.
  • Protect your property. De-clutter drains and gutters. Install check valves in plumbing to prevent backups. Consider hurricane shutters. Review insurance policies.


Prepare your vehicle:

  • Get your vehicle ready for possible evacuations: Have a mechanic check coolant, brakes, air conditioning, tires, and windshield wipers to ensure they are in good shape. In the event of severe weather, fill up the gas tank in case the power goes out.
  • Keep an extra emergency kit specifically created for your car. In addition to the basic essentials, consider adding a portable cell phone charger, rain gear, dry clothing, waterproof shoes and water.


Basic Preparedness Tips:


  • Make sure you have a cell phone with an emergency charging option (car, solar, hand crank, etc.) in case of a power failure.
  • People who depend on electricity to operate medical equipment should have alternate arrangements in place in case power is out for an extended period of time.
  • Plan to check on elderly/disabled relatives and neighbors.
  • Plan to bring pets inside.
  • Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it in case you lose power.
  • Fill a gallon container with water and place them in the freezer to help keep food cold.
  • A NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts alerts and warnings directly from the NWS for all hazards. You may also sign up in advance to receive notifications from your local emergency services.


When a hurricane is 36 hours from arriving

  • Turn on your TV or radio in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include food and water sufficient for at least three days, medications, a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Plan how to communicate with family members if you lose power. For example, you can call, text, email or use social media. Remember that during disasters, sending text messages is usually reliable and faster than making phone calls because phone lines are often overloaded.
  • Review your evacuation zone, evacuation route and shelter locations. Plan with your family. You may have to leave quickly so plan ahead.
  • Keep your car in good working condition, and keep the gas tank full; stock your vehicle with emergency supplies and a change of clothes.
  • If you have NFIP flood insurance, your policy may cover up to $1000 in loss avoidance measures, like sandbags and water pumps, to protect your insured property. You should keep copies of all receipts and a record of the time spent performing the work. They should be submitted to your insurance adjuster when you file a claim to be reimbursed. 


When a hurricane is 18-36 hours from arriving

  • Bookmark your city or county website for quick access to storm updates and emergency instructions.
  • Bring loose, lightweight objects inside that could become projectiles in high winds (e.g., patio furniture, garbage cans); anchor objects that would be unsafe to bring inside (e.g., propane tanks); and trim or remove trees close enough to fall on the building.
  • Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” exterior grade or marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install.


When a hurricane is 6-18 hours from arriving

  • Turn on your TV/radio, or check your city/county website every 30 minutes in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Charge your cell phone now so you will have a full battery in case you lose power.


When a hurricane is 6 hours from arriving

  • If you’re not in an area that is recommended for evacuation, plan to stay at home or where you are and let friends and family know where you are.
  • Close storm shutters, and stay away from windows. Flying glass from broken windows could injure you.
  • Turn your refrigerator or freezer to the coldest setting and open only when necessary. If you lose power, food will last longer. Keep a thermometer in the refrigerator to be able to check the food temperature when the power is restored.
  • Turn on your TV/radio, or check your city/county website every 30 minutes in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.


Survive DURING

  • If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Do not drive around barricades.
  • If sheltering during high winds, go to a FEMA safe room, ICC 500 storm shelter, or a small, interior, windowless room or hallway on the lowest floor that is not subject to flooding.
  • If trapped in a building by flooding, go to the highest level of the building. Do not climb into a closed attic. You may become trapped by rising flood water.
  • Listen for current emergency information and instructions.
  • Use a generator or other gasoline-powered machinery outdoors ONLY and away from windows.
  • Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn Around. Don’t Drown! Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Stay off of bridges over fast-moving water.


Be Safe AFTER

  • Listen to authorities for information and special instructions.
  • Be careful during clean-up. Wear protective clothing and work with someone else.
  • Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. If it is safe to do so, turn off electricity at the main breaker or fuse box to prevent electric shock.
  • Avoid wading in flood water, which can contain dangerous debris. Underground or downed power lines can also electrically charge the water.
  • Save phone calls for emergencies. Phone systems are often down or busy after a disaster. Use text messages or social media to communicate with family and friends.
  • Document any property damage with photographs. Contact your insurance company for assistance.

BASIC PROTECTIVE MEASURES FOR ALL HAZARDS

Some basic protective actions are similar across many different hazards:

  • Physical safety is a concern for all hazards and may involve sheltering or evacuating.
  • Develop a family communications plan
  • Make an emergency supply kit to be prepared for any type of disaster.
  • Learn about receiving emergency alerts and local emergency plans for shelter and evacuation, local emergency contacts, and local advance alerts and warnings.
  • When recovering from a disaster, safety as well as mental and physical well-being must be considered.