FREEHOLD, NJ - The threat of Hurricane Irene travelling up the east coast in the days ahead has the potential to cause severe weather in Monmouth County. While everyone needs to take precautions and have a family disaster plan, the Monmouth County Office of Emergency Management is urging people who live in flood prone areas to particularly stay aware and plan before the storm strikes.  Those areas that were affected by the recent heavy rains will be at the highest risk for flooding.

Sheriff Shaun Golden whose agency runs the Office of Emergency Management recommends taking basic steps before the storm in the event that those who live in flood prone areas will have to relocate to higher ground. It’s important that prior to or during a storm people stay informed through television or radio (battery powered), and, if you have to evacuate, take the necessary precautions to secure your home and belongings beforehand.

Plan & Prepare

  • All residents should have a family disaster plan ready. Know where you will be evacuating to,  plan ahead if you need to provide shelter for your pets and notify friends and family of your plans
  • Bring all outdoor items such as garbage cans, lawn furniture and other items inside prior to the storm
  • Remove debris and keep trees trimmed
  • Inspect outside drains to make sure they are free of clogging
  • Secure and board up windows in your home
  • Cars and boats should be moved to higher ground before exiting your home
  • Store valuables and important documents in a waterproof safety deposit box in the highest level of your home
  • Before evacuating check with your utility company in advance to find out what should be turned off
  • Make sure your car has a full tank of gas, cells phones are fully charged, prescription medications are filled and have enough money, clothes, blankets, diapers, formula and personal items to get you through several days
  • Prior to leaving, unplug appliances, lock your home and do not return until the area is deemed safe

The Monmouth County Office of Emergency Management will assess the flood damage throughout the county including properties and infrastructures, and, coordinate with all county agencies as well as municipalities in regards to restoration of any damage that may be incurred by the effects of Hurricane Irene.  OEM will coordinate the necessary resources when dealing with response and recovery to ensure public safety throughout Monmouth County.

For more information on storm preparedness go to www.visitmonmouth.com