Teaneck officials are asking residents to start preparing for the potential impacts of a storm that forecasters say could wreak havoc on the East Coast early next week.
Emergency management officials in Teaneck are monitoring the storm’s path and Township Manager William Broughton said responders were well prepared if Hurricane Sandy slams the area.
“We have ourselves on alert,” Broughton said Thursday. “Preparation is the key.”
Broughton said the town could call in extra staff, if needed. Public works equipment normally parked in the flood-prone River Road yard would be moved to higher ground, and emergency vehicles were being readied.
“We’re making sure that we are ready to restore the town to normal operation [if the storm hits],” he said.
Broughton has been in contact with Public Service Electric and Gas and said the company made strides toward improving its handling of major outages.
“They seem to have improved their response to these type of emergencies,” Broughton said.
PSE&G is ready for widespread electric outages, according to a company statement.
“Depending on the severity of the storm, response times for both electric and gas emergency services may be longer than usual,” the utility said. “PSE&G asks for our customers’ patience and cooperation as we work to safely restore service as quickly as possible.”
Added replacement equipment including poles and transformers were brought in, and crews were taking precautions around power substations in areas known to flood, the statement said.
Unlike during Irene and last year’s freak October snowstorm, Teaneck has new methods to keep residents informed. Last week, the township launched official Facebook and Twitter pages, and has also introduced an e-mail alert system.
Broughton urged residents to sign up for online alerts, which the town will use for emergency updates.
Residents should begin to take basic precautions, including securing outdoor furniture and brace for the possibility of being stuck indoors. The health department issued a list of tips for dealing with prolonged power outages.
“You need to prepare for it now,” Broughton said.
Teaneck's Volunteer Ambulance Corps is also ready to activate its plan for storms and major emergencies, said Larry Robertson, vice president and public information officer. Emergency generators are tested more frequently and a TVAC member can be assigned as an extra dispatcher for ambulance calls to free up police communications. More members can be called in, allowing each ambulance to be staffed with four emergency medical technicians.
"No one should ever use candles, kerosene heaters or oil lamps during power outages. No one should ever run a generator indoors or next to doors or windows, as the exhaust can be deadly," Robertson cautioned.
Residents who rely on home oxygen concentrators should be sure back-up batteries are in good shape, or make plans if power fails, he added.
Dubbed a “Frankenstorm,” federal forecasters warned the East Coast could be battered with gale-force winds and heavy-rains brought on by a hurricane mixing with a winter storm. The storm is expected to hit the Bergen County-area late Sunday, according to an advisory issued by the county’s emergency management office.
- Teaneck Official E-Mail Sign Up
- Teaneck Heath Department Food Safety Tips
- PSE&G Statement on Storm Preparations
- Teaneck Official Facebook, Twitter Accounts
- National Weather Service Forecasts
- Bergen County Official Emergency Alerts Sign Up