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Hurricane Sandy: Preparations Have Begun in Town

Local emergency teams are preparing—and so should you, officials urge.

The Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills is bracing for a big one.

The National Hurricane Center now predicts that Hurricane Sandy will become a tropical storm and strike New Jersey directly sometime Sunday—and that the severe weather could stick around through Tuesday.

Don't let the downgrade fool you, weather forecasters say. The storm will feature potentially damaging high speed winds, very heavy rain and flooding to low-lying areas. At particular threat are towns like Parsippany, that are prone to flood during a severe storm.

Town administration, the Parsippany Office of Emergency Management and the Parsippany Police Department are preparing for what's to come.

Police and OEM Chief Anthony DeZenzo said crews will be busy all day getting ready. 

"The Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills has already begun preparing for the storm by ensuring storm drains are clear and dead and damaged trees are being removed," he said in a statement, adding that crews will follow "an emergency operations plan, which includes an operational Emergency Operations Center as well as safety equipment including barricades, traffic cones, rescue equipment, emergency generators and high volume emergency pumps in the event of flooded homes and businesses. Emergency Responders including OEM, PPD, Parsippany Rescue and Recovery, three Emergency Medical Service agencies and six Parsippany fire districts will be standing by ready to assist our citizens."

DeZenzo urged residents to prepare themselves for what he called "an extremely dangerous storm that may...take down trees and power lines within the township."

He also noted the possibility of extended periods of power loss.

The Parsippany OEM offered a checklist of items to get done before Sandy arrives:

  • Create of an emergency kit and family emergency plan including an emergency gathering point
  • Have a stock of fresh batteries for your specific flashlights
  • Bring in outdoor furniture, grills, garbage cans and lawn ornaments that may blow away in high wind
  • Have a battery operated radio with fresh batteries
  • Charge all cell phones and laptops
  • If you plan on keeping a supply of fresh water for drinking (particularly if you use an electric well pump), plan on 1 gallon per person per day
  • Make sure emergency equipment such as generators and sump pumps are working and you have fuel on hand
  • Have a bag of emergency supplies and clothing in the event that you may need to evacuate your home if directed by emergency personnel
  • Park your car in an area of high elevation that does not flood
  • Keep an eye on drains on your property that may clog with leaves to help avoid flooding on your property.
  • Chief DeZenzo offered another reminder: Unless you are directed by emergency personnel to evacuate, your home is generally the safest place to be. 

For the latest information from the town, head to the township website, the PPD website, PPD Facebook page and the PPD Twitter feed. Consider signing up for the police department's Constant Contact Emails).  Also, for Reverse 9-1-1 notifications, register your cellphone number so you can receive emergency calls in the event of a power outage. 

Bob Crawford October 26, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Natalie Many thanks. This is a good start, Could you find out how (phone/siren/door to door notification) people will be notified that they should evacuate their homes and what public shelters will be open if they need to take refuge. Also will there be designated parking lots located on higher elevations where people can leave their vehicles during the storm so that Parsippany roads are not clogged with parked cars. A centrally located open space parking lot would also ensure that those vehicles would not be damaged by falling trees and wires. Also where should Parsippany residents turn to for updated information about the storm's ongoing impact on Parsippany. Aside from Patch will the Parsippany OEM be providing regular on line updates?
Mrs. K October 26, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Mr. Crawford, this statement went out last night via Constant Contact email, that you can sign up for on the townships website, www.parsippany.net Also, the town has a facebook page now, as well as the police department, where information is being disseminated. Reverse 911 is run by the county, the police department gives the county the message to send out, but it is up to the county if they send the message.
Bob Crawford October 26, 2012 at 08:17 PM
Mrs. K Thank you for that useful and important information Would you happen to know if there are any plans to fill sand bags to add some additional protection to the homes located on River Road? I would think that a number of Parsippany residents would be more than willing to spend some time doing that work to help protect their neighbors' homes in lower Lake Hiawatha. With a concerted and organized effort we could greatly increase the chances of avoiding the devastating results created by Hurricane Irene. There is enough time to do so if we get started right away. Better to be safe rather than sorry.
Mrs. K October 27, 2012 at 12:35 AM
For last years storm, I believe the men and women of the Rockaway Neck first aid squad were out filling sand bags with people of the surrounding community, but when River Road actually becomes part of the river, sand bags won't do much good. There are contingency plans for all the items you questioned at OEM, but if it is announced that the Knoll is going to be a shelter, and a tree falls across the road, like last year, blocking the entrance, then it is useless to notify people in advance of where to go, if they haven't been ordered to evacuate.
joseph randazzo November 01, 2012 at 08:43 PM
anthony your the best joseph randazzo 26 cherokee ave

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