Preparing for Tropical Storm Isaias

Post Date:08/03/2020 5:39 PM

Somerville, NJ -- Somerset County departments and emergency-response agencies are closely monitoring the progress of Tropical Storm Isaias and preparing for the potential of high winds and heavy rain. Residents are encouraged to prepare to weather the storm by building or updating a to-go kit, having a family emergency plan in place, and staying informed.

“I encourage everyone in Somerset County to take time to prepare for Tropical Storm Isaias, and the possibility that it could significantly impact our homes and neighborhoods,” said Freeholder Director Shanel Robinson. “Thanks to COVID-19 we’re all very experienced in sheltering at home, and unfortunately we may be required to continue our efforts thanks to this possibly major weather event.”

Tropical Storm Isaias is expected to arrive in Somerset County late this evening, with increasing intensity from midnight into Tuesday morning. The most severe aspects of the storm, including heavy rains and peak gusts of up to 50 mph, will hit on Tuesday afternoon. There is a significant possibility of flooding and power outages in the area.

“We don’t know the severity of Tropical Storm Isaias yet, and so we have to be prepared for the worst but hope for the best,” said Freeholder Brian Gallagher, Emergency Management liaison. “I have every confidence in Somerset County’s responders and our residents, and know we can weather this storm together.”

Somerset County’s activated its Emergency Operations Center on Monday morning for Tropical Storm Isaias. The OEC includes staff from throughout the county government, and coordinate Somerset County’s response to Tropical Storm Isaias with local, state, and national authorities.

“Somerset County’s response teams are some of the best in the state, and they are ready to respond to whatever Tropical Storm Isaias throws at us,” said Freeholder Melonie Marano, Public Works liaison. “But we residents need to do our part as well, and that means if an emergency is declared staying off the roads and protecting our families by sheltering in place.”

Residents are encouraged to be prepared to shelter in place for a minimum of three-days including gathering emergency supplies that include food and water, personal care items, an emergency kit, electronics and important documents. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, preparations should also include personal protective equipment, like masks, hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies. For households with pets, additional food and water should be included. Ready.gov is an excellent resource for building a to-go kit and preparing for a major storm.

Each member of a household should know and understand the hurricane plan. A proper plan includes knowing how to contact each other and reconnect if separated, including establishing a meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.

Households with pets should include preparations for them in a hurricane plan. Tips on preparing to weather an emergency with animals can be found at https://bit.ly/SCCART20.

In the event of flooding, residents should identify several places away from their neighborhood such as a family member’s or friend’s home in another town. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, public shelters may not be available and should only be considered as a last resort.

Follow communication channels and emergency alerts to stay informed. Residents can sign up to receive Somerset County emergency alerts by visiting: www.co.somerset.nj.us/alerts. Other trusted sources include local municipal officials, the New Jersey Office of Emergency Preparedness (http://www.ready.nj.gov/) and FEMA (www.ready.gov). Outage maps and contact information for power utilities can be found at http://ready.nj.gov/plan-prepare/public-utilities.shtml.

Register Ready is New Jersey’s Special Needs Registry for Disasters and is a valuable resource that allows individuals with disabilities and others who have special needs to provide information so emergency responders can better plan to serve residents during a disaster. To register, visit: http://bit.ly/NJRegisterReady2019 or call 2-1-1 for assistance.

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Current Situation in Somerset County 

Current SCDOH Situation Update

Somerset County Department of Health (SCDOH) is working closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the New Jersey State Department of Health, and other health partners in monitoring the evolving situation. Somerset County remains committed to providing accurate and timely information on this situation to our communities. Residents can call 908-231-7111 for a daily automated reading of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) case count in Somerset County, New Jersey.

The SCDOH is the lead county agency to coordinate public health disease response, in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), local hospitals, medical providers, and emergency medical services. To stay up-to-date on information, please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for the most current information. More information and resources regarding the new coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found below.

Questions or Concerns?

Residents who have questions about the new coronavirus may contact the Somerset County Department of Health via coronavirus@co.somerset.nj.us.

The NJ Poison Control Center and 211 have partnered with the New Jersey Department of Health to provide information to the public on COVID-19. Residents can call the public call center with questions and concerns at 1-800-962-1253. Residents can also text NJCOVID to 898-211 for text information and to stay informed.

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COVID-19 Cases Total Deaths
Somerset County*  5,239** 498
New Jersey  201,552** 14,300
United States 6,916,292** 201,411
*All 21 municipalities            

**Includes both confirmed cases and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19. Presumptive positive cases tested positive at a state or commercial laboratory and are waiting for confirmatory testing by the CDC.

As of 9/24/20, 3pm

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Situation Update

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Current SCDOH Situation Update

September 18, 2020 - SCDOH Situation Update #33

 

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Contact Tracing

Contact tracing is critical to stopping the spread of COVID-19 and keeping you, your loved ones, and your community safe and healthy. Contact tracing is used by health departments to prevent the spread of infectious disease.

Cloth or Disposable Masks

Cloth or disposable masks along with social distancing, staying home when you are sick and good hand hygiene, are vital tools in the fight against COVID-19. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has created Mask Up, New Jersey! toolkit to encourage everyone to wear a mask in outdoor public places. Please help us remind New Jerseyans to mask up by sharing these resources on social media channels and at your offices. To view the campaign toolkit, click here: Mask Up, New Jersey!

Protect Yourself and Others

To help protect yourself and others from the spread of coronavirus, the CDC recommends everyone should:

  • Wear a cloth or disposable mask when in public.
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water, and for at least 20 seconds each time.  Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Keep distance between you and others, stay about 2 arm's length distance from others (about 6 feet).
  • Stay home when sick and avoid sick people.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched daily.
  • Monitor your daily health.
  • Stay up to date about COVID-19!

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