TRENTON – Gov. Phil Murphy Sunday declared that New Jersey will enter a state of emergency beginning 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 31 in response to the expected winter storm.
Snow accumulation for the storm began as of Sunday afternoon, with the heaviest snow expected to fall during the day on Monday, and hazardous conditions may continue through Tuesday morning.
Executive Order No. 218 declares a state of emergency across all 21 counties in New Jersey, allowing resources to be deployed throughout the state during the duration of the storm.
State offices will be closed on Monday. This does not include weather-essential employees. Private companies and businesses should dismiss their employees at their own discretion. All six vaccine mega-sites will be closed on Monday due to the storm.
All NJ TRANSIT buses, rail, except Atlantic City Rail Line, light rail and Access Link service, will be temporarily suspended systemwide for the entire service day on Monday due to the significant expected impacts of the snow storm.
“Heavy snow, coastal flooding, and high winds are expected in many parts of the state ,” Murphy said in a release. “The safety of residents and workers is our utmost priority. Please follow all weather-related guidance and stay off the roads in order to allow access for emergency personnel.”
“The New Jersey Department of Transportation is coordinating with our regional and local transportation partners and the New Jersey State Police to ensure the most effective response to this storm,” DOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said. “We are grateful for the public’s assistance by staying at home and allowing transportation agencies to safely and efficiently clear roadways of snow and ice.”
“Our State Emergency Operations Center has been activated to coordinate with our State Emergency Management Partners. Troopers throughout the state are ready to assist residents and drivers both on and off of the highways for the duration of this storm as needed,” State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan said. “However, we cannot do it without the help of our communities. Please use caution if you must travel, prepare emergency kits for use at home and in your vehicle, and check on your neighbors.”
“In anticipation of the snowstorm, the NJBPU has been in communication with the utilities and they are prepared for the weather emergency,” said New Jersey Board of Public Utilities President Joseph L. Fiordaliso. “We expect outages as a result of the storm and advise residents to charge their phones in advance, make necessary preparations and report any outages to their utility. As always, do not touch or go near any downed wires. We know that any outage is an inconvenience and we will be working with the utilities to ensure they restore all outages as safely and as quickly as possible.”
Parts of New Jersey are expected to experience heavy snow, coastal flooding, and blizzard-like conditions. To prepare for the winter storm, the New Jersey State Police has activated the State Emergency Operations Center in order to monitor the storm. The DOT, Turnpike Authority and South Jersey Transportation Authority will also deploy over 3,900 plows and spreaders to keep roads and communities safe.
The governor encourages New Jerseyans to visit ready.nj.gov for important weather updates and safety information. New Jersey residents should also pay attention to local forecasts, warnings, and watches.
For those living in Central and Southern New Jersey, visit the U.S. National Weather Service Philadelphia/Mount Holly at http://www.weather.gov/phi/
For those living in Northern New Jersey and the New York Metro area, visit the U.S. National Weather Service New York, N.Y. at http://www.weather.gov/okx/
The Bergen, Burlington, and Gloucester County mega-site were pre-scheduled to be closed on Monday, Feb. 1. Anyone with appointments at the Atlantic, Middlesex, or Morris mega-sites will receive a call from the health care partner at that site and be rescheduled within the week.
- Atlantic (AtlantiCare) and Middlesex (RWJBarnabas) will be rescheduled to Thursday
- Morris (Atlantic Health) will be rescheduled to Wednesday
- Health care partners will begin making calls after 2:00 PM today
- The Vaccination Call Center will remain open through the storm: 855-568-0545
Important Tips to Remember When Preparing for Winter Weather:
- Secure loose items in your yard such as trash cans, children’s toys, and lawn decorations.
- Build an emergency kit that includes supplies for the whole family, including pets. Due to COVID-19 there are a few updates to preparing for this winter season such as including hand soap, hand sanitizer, disinfectant supplies and cloth face coverings in your emergency kits/go-bags.
- Have cash on hand. If the power is out, so are the ATMs and credit card machines.
- Know how to report a power outage to your utility company.
- Know where your utility shut off valves (gas, electric, water) are and how to use them.
- NEVER use a generator inside homes, garages, crawlspaces, sheds, or similar areas, even when using fans or opening doors and windows for ventilation. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide can quickly build up in these areas and can linger for hours, even after the generator has shut off.
- Be sure to keep an adequate amount of gas in your car.
- Be sure to check on friends and neighbors who have access or functional needs. Due to COVID-19, in person visits may not be ideal under certain circumstances. Please adhere to social distancing guidelines and wear a mask. Use other means of communication such as phone, text or video chat to check on neighbors and help prepare them.
- Be sure to have extra medications on hand and keep them in a water-resistant container.
- Get all of your vital records and insurance papers together now. Keep them in a water-resistant container. If you can, scan and email them to yourself so you have a copy of important numbers and policies, etc.
- Charge your cell phones and try not to use them if the power goes out.
A copy of Executive Order No. 218 can be found here.