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Online Resources Keep Residents Informed During Emergencies

The Somerset County Board of Freeholders encourages residents, municipal officials, emergency service providers, businesses and others to take advantage of the many online sources of information for storms and other emergencies.

Below are tips from the Somerset County Office of Emergency Management (SCOEM) on how citizens can obtain accurate information during severe weather and other emergency situations:

On the Web: Use credible websites to get information about natural hazards and emergency preparedness. SCOEM works closely with the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center regarding storm predictions and forecasts.

•        National Weather Service http://www.erh.noaa.gov/er/phi/

•        National Hurricane Center http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

•        New Jersey Office of Emergency Management www.ready.nj.gov

Social Media: Social media and other advanced communications technologies are used by emergency managers statewide.

·        CMAS (Community Mobile Alert System): This nationwide system is now being employed by the National Weather Service to transmit weather warnings (but not watches) to your cell phone. A warning means the hazard is imminent; a watch means conditions are favorable for the hazard to occur. Your cell phone must be WEA (Wireless Emergency Alert)-enabled to receive these messages, so it depends on the make/model of the phone. Read about WEA alerts at http://www.erh.noaa.gov/lwx/WEA/WEA.php

NOAA Weather Radio: NOAA Weather Radio is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information directly from the nearest National Weather Service Office.  NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts official Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. NOAA Weather Radios are typically inexpensive, easily available in stores and can often be programmed for your specific area.

Traditional Media & Community Resources:

·        Continue to monitor traditional media sources — television, newspapers and radio — to stay informed of breaking news and continued coverage of emergency events.

·        Find out if your community has a “reverse 9-1-1” system

·        Municipalities may have their own social media tools and alert and warning systems. Sign up, opt-in or connect to receive important local alerts. For links to municipal websites in Somerset County, visit www.co.somerset.nj.us/towndir.html