Putting into effect many of emergency planning measures put in place after 2011's major storms, Bernardsville's officials are preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy — but also are asking residents to do their part.
The borough is prepared to provide fresh drinking water and shelter if the need arises, Bernardsville Police Lt. Demmings Hoadley said late last week. During storms in 2011, the loss of power had left some residents unable to tap their private wells.
While the borough reportedly had been out picking up leaves and cleaning storm drains at the end of the week, residents have been warned not to place leaves in the street in anticipation of the annual leaf collection that won't begin until early November.
The leaves clog storm drains and create other hazardous conditions, said Bernardsville Police Chief Kevin Valentine.
The Borough Council and local police have said that residents potentially could be cited for placing leaves in the street before Halloween. But Valentine noted that the impending storm makes it especially important to keep leaves out of street.
Leaf pick up is suspended until further notice, according to the Bernardsville Borough police website. "DO NOT PLACE LEAVES ALONG THE ROADWAY AS THEY WILL PRESENT A HAZARD AND CLOG STORM DRAINS CAUSING FLOODING DURING THIS STORM," the website says.
Police also advise residents with special needs to register with police before the storm's anticipated arrival.
Valentine also said the borough's Office of Emergency response had checked generators and other emergency response equipment in anticipation of the storm's arrival early next week.
The borough's emergency preparedness has been an ongoing task since 2011's two storms walloped Bernardsville and the entire region.
More advice from Bernardsville Borough police:
- All residents, but especially those with special needs, are urged to register all relevant information, including how they can be contacted, in the emergency alert link on the Bernardsville police webpage.
- Residents are urged to register emails and cell phone numbers for emergency alerts at www.bernardsillepd.org. The Police Department will issue storm updates and emergency information periodically using this website and through the telephone-email emergency alert system.
Police said it is important that residents register emails in addition to cell phone numbers in the event regular telephone service is interrupted due to power outages.
- Prepare a home emergency kit that includes food, water, medicine and other essential items. Visit ready.gov for more information on preparing a kit.
- If you have a Medical Alert System in your home be sure to replace the back up battery and have extra batteries on hand in the event of a power outage.
- Charge cell phones and electronic devices in advance of the storm. Obtain a car charger for your cell phone in the event it is needed during a prolonged power outage.
- Prepare to shelter in place. If you require special assistance or emergency shelter contact the Bernardsville Police Departement at 908-766-0037. The Red Cross will open an emergency shelter at the RVCC Raritan Valley Community College. A local shelter with limited space will be opened in the event one becomes needed. Check for emergency alerts and announcements regarding shelter alternatives.
- Call 9-1-1 for emergency assistance.
- If you have special medical equipment at home, plan ahead or plan to evacuate to a safe place if you require electricity to operate your devices. Emergency responders may not be able to reach you during the height of the storm.
- Secure all loose items in your yard such as trash cans, lawn furniture and potted plants. These items can become dangerous projectiles.
Check the Bernardsville Police Department website for more safety and preparedness tips.