Starting last night and playing every hour on the hour, the municipality has played a public service announcement on TV-34/32 that provides information on what residents can expect and should prepare for the coming hurricane storm. The full video can be viewed in HD at the end of this article.
Mayor Joseph Accardi provided information on what residents should do to prepare which included charging cellphones, buying batteries for radios & flashlights, testing generators to make that they work, and stocking up freezer/refrigerator and running them on a setting colder than usual. The mayor indicated that residents should be prepared to shelter in-place for 48 hours.
He also provided information for those residents who are home-bound, wheelchair-bound, or require electrical power to run breathing apparatus, dialysis equipment, or any other kind of medically necessary device. He asked that those residents contact the municipality at the non-emergency police phone number (908) 245-2300 so that priority response can be arranged. Those residents were also asked to contact PSE&G at 1-800-436-PSEG (7734) to advise them of any special needs. In the event of a power outage, the Mayor stated that PSE&G will place those people on the top of their ‘Restore Service’.
“I remind you all to please be safe. We are a community of friends and volunteers,” the mayor said, “We must work together as a community to get through this hurricane.”
Mayor Accardi stated that the municipality has already prepared for the storm by performing the following:
- Initiated the Municipal Response Plan.
- DPW cleaned the catch basins, cleared the storm drains, removed loose items such as flags & plantings, secured other items such as furniture and trash bins.
- Checked equipment, such as generators, pumps, backhoes, and trucks and prepped them for emergency operations.
- The Police Department has implemented emergency operation manning and coordinated with the county, state, and utility company for operations during and post-storm clean-up.
- The Fire Department has set up emergency operations and will be manning all three (3) stations and all equipment during the emergency.
- The First Aid Squad will set up a shelter, as needed, at the Roselle Park Middle School. They will also have equipment available at the First Aid Squad building.
- The county and PSE&G have pre-positioned equipment.
- All municipal parking lots will be available, free of charge, to residents until Monday at 6 a.m. to allow residents to remove their vehicles from potential flood zones and streets that may require emergency access.
Detective Richard Cocca, head of the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) then spoke and recommended that residents should have a cache of water, non-perishable food, medication, and money in the event that power is out and ATMs are not functioning. He assured residents by stating, “We are probably at the best we can be at this point.”
Residents were reminded that people should use 9-1-1 for life-threatening emergency only. Detective Cocca said, “Do not call 9-1-1 to report power lines down or trees down. We urge you to use non-emergency line at (908) 245-2300 and press ‘0’ to talk to a dispatcher.”
Detective Cocca added that residents should not call the police department on a daily basis asking when the power will be restored.
Deputy Fire Chief Mark Jaskula then spoke and stated, “The [fire] department is 99% prepared to handle this storm.”
He urged residents that use powered equipment such as generator be extra careful by not keeping the power equipment indoors and be careful when fueling them. He stated that if power lines come down, residents should stay indoors because if there are no streetlights, they will not be able to see power lines at night. He concluded by saying, “Our number one goal is life safety in the borough which we will do out best to uphold.”
The announcement then returned to Mayor Accardi, “Our borough resources will be stretched thin and while emergency personnel will do everything possible to assist everyone, we cannot possibly do such things as pump basements or set up generators for individual homes. we just do not have the resources to do so.”
The mayor stated he has instructed the OEM to prioritize their response by concentrating on life saving issues first then moving on to other issues.
“The reason we ask you to prepare now is that if this storm hits us with the ferocity that is currently predicted, emergency personnel may not be able to reach you . . . As a result, we ask you to prepare for this storm now.”
The mayor ended by instructing residents to check on the Borough website (link)and TV-34/32 as long as they can for further updates.