Planet Princeton
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Princeton Officials Prepare for Hurricane Sandy

Princeton Borough and Princeton Township are coordinating emergency management efforts for Hurricane Sandy and will operate a single emergency operations center during the storm.

“We began preliminary planning yesterday and had a successful meeting this morning to prepare for our joint effort,” Borough Administrator Bob Bruschi said in a phone interview this afternoon. “The meeting was organized by our director of emergency services and included representatives from both police departments, our departments of public works, the first aid and rescue squad, the hospital and Princeton University.”

The Princeton Township Police Department will served as the emergency operations center for the two Princetons, though both police departments will still have staff at Borough Hall and the Township Municipal Building. The fire department, departments of public works, first aid squad and university public safety departments will all coordinate efforts through the central emergency operations center. Some important tips from officials (more to come later):

– Officials are asking residents who live near storm drains to remove any leaves on or near the drains. Leaves and brush should not be dumped in the street and should be left on lawns. The Borough and Township public works departments are removing leaves and other debris from low-lying areas and catch basins, but can only do so much before the storm hits.

– The Princeton Fire Department will not be able to pump basements during the storm. Officials ask that residents to not call to make requests for basement pumping.

– Police ask that residents not to call the police with reports of power outages. Those calls should be directed to PSE&G at 800-436-7734.

-If you are having an emergency you should call 911.  All other calls should go to the non-emergency numbers of Princeton Borough Police 609-924-4141 or if a Township resident to Princeton Township Police non-emergency number 609-921-2100.  We are anticipating a very high call volume so we are asking for your patience.  Do not call 911 if you have a non-emergency, just continue to try and get through on the regular line.
 
– Services such as trash and recycling pickup are likely to be affected by the storm.  Do not put your receptacles out during the height of the storm.  When the storm subsides,  normal pick up schedules will resume.

Both the Princeton Borough and Princeton Township government websites will be updated periodically with storm related information including road closures. For the most up to date information, visit the new website for the consolidated Princeton or the Township Police’s Facebook or Twitter pages, which will include road closure updates. Planet Princeton will be updated constantly with information from both police departments and other sources in the greater Mercer County area. If you want to contribute a news tip, ask a question or submit a photo, email editor@planetprinceton.com.

This afternoon Gov. Chris Christie urged New Jersey residents to take the time now – ahead of the storm – to activate and supply their family preparedness plans and to closely monitor the track of Hurricane Sandy.

“While Sandy’s exact track is still uncertain, New Jersey has the potential to experience a major impact from high winds, heavy rain, flooding and power outages,” Christie said. “That’s why it’s important from the state level on down to prepare in advance of this serious storm. The New Jersey Office of Emergency Management’s Hurricane Survival Guide is available to residents online with important information about emergency preparedness. Now, ahead of any potential impact of Sandy, is the time for families to ensure they are prepared and are tuned in for the latest path of the storm for our coast. I encourage all of our families to stay informed, get ready, and reach out to those you know who may be isolated, or in need of extra assistance during adverse conditions.”

Resources:

The NJ Office of Emergency Management works closely with the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center regarding storm predictions and forecasts.

National Weather Service
National Hurricane Center
New Jersey Office of Emergency Management

Residents can sign up for NJ Alert,  a free, voluntary and confidential emergency alerting system that allows NJ Office of Emergency Management officials to send email or text messages to cell phones, and other email enabled devices during an emergency event. Sign up for NJ Alert by logging on to: www.njalert.gov.

NOAA Weather Radio is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information directly from the nearest National Weather Service Office. NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts official Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. NOAA Weather Radios are typically inexpensive, easily available in stores and can often be programmed for your specific area.

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

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