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NJ Activates State Emergency Operations Center In Advance Of Sandy As Many Towns Prepare For The Worst

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TRENTON, NJ (CBS) – The New Jersey State Emergency Operations Center was activated at 8 a.m. today to coordinate preparations related to the storm.

Hamilton Township says its flood gates have been opened to lower water levels in an attempt to alleviate flooding. When the initial effects of the storm begin on Sunday evening, they are asking residents in flood prone areas to voluntarily evacuate by that time.

As of now, the Atlantic City Race Course has agreed to take residents who have pets. Any further shelter announcements will be passed onto residents when they become available. No mandatory evacuations have been ordered at this time. However, residents should continue to monitor local emergency stations for updates such as WAYV 95.1 FM, WAIV 102.3 FM, WTTH 96.1 FM and WDTH 93.1 FM. To receive up to the minute updates via your cell phone, please text NJHTPD to 888777.

In Cape May County, sources say voluntary evacuations are underway for the barrier islands with mandatory evacuations to be in place Sunday evening.

Stone Harbor’s mayor, Suzanne Walters announced that voluntary evacuations of the Borough is in effect immediately. A mandatory evacuation for all residents and visitors will be in effect starting Sunday, October 28th at 9 a.m. and will end at 9 p.m. the same day.

The Stone Harbor Harvest Festival for Saturday will also be postponed, along with trick or treat on Halloween.

The Avalon Office of Emergency Management has ordered a voluntary evacuation for all residents and visitors in Avalon Friday evening October 26th through Saturday, October 27th. It is possible that this evacuation order may turn into a mandatory evacuation for Sunday, October 28th.

The Brigantine Office of Emergency Management Office has also issued voluntary evacuation orders for Brigantine Beach, NJ starting now. A mandatory evacuation order will be issued on Sunday October 28 starting at 8 a.m. Residents and visitors are being asked to make arraignments with family or friends, and at this time, no shelter has been setup for Sunday.

In Princeton Township and Borough, a reverse 911 call will be sent out to residents within 72 hours with storm preparation tips and info.

Salem County has issued a state of emergency, and residents in low-lying areas will be urged by phone to evacuate ASAP. A mandatory evacuation order could come later.

New Jersey residents can maintain situation awareness in the following ways:

On the Web – Use credible websites to get information about natural hazards and emergency preparedness. The NJ Office of Emergency Management 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 the NJOEM and by emergency managers statewide.

- Find out if your community has a “reverse 9-1-1″ system or if you can opt-in for email updates from municipal officials.

- “Like” the NJOEM on Facebook, follow it on Twitter, or subscribe to the NJ State Police (NJSP) on Nixle Connect.

NJOEM on FB: www.facebook.com/READYNEWJERSEY

NJOEM on Twitter: @NJOEM2010

NIXLE – New Jersey residents can register to receive messages by sending a text message with their zip code to 888777 (data rates may apply depending on your plan). Online registration is also available at www.nixle.com.

NJ Alert – NJ Alert is a free, voluntary and confidential emergency alerting system that allows NJ Office of Emergency Management officials to send E-mail or text messages to cell phones, and other email enabled devices during an emergency event. Sign up for NJ Alert by logging on to: www.njalert.gov.

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. http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/

Traditional Media – Continue to monitor traditional media sources – TV, newspapers and radio – to stay informed of breaking news and continued coverage of emergency events.

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