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What to do before a winter storm arrives

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Tips from the National Weather Service on how to prepare for a winter storm.

Nor'easters are part of winter life in South Jersey. Snow, sleet, freezing rain, and rain are possible with every winter storm, and the strongest coastal storms bring significant tidal flooding and damaging wind gusts.

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So what can you do to better prepare in advance of an approaching winter storm?  Here are some suggestions:

  • Before a winter storm arrives, add the following supplies to your winter storm kit.
    • Rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency for a complete list of recommended products.
    • Sand to improve traction.
    • Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment.
    • Sufficient heating fuel. You may become isolated in your home and regular fuel sources may be cut off. Store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.
    • Adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.
  • Make a Family Communications Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.
  • A NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts alerts and warnings directly from the National Weather Service for all hazards. You may also sign up in advance to receive notifications from your local emergency services.
  • Download FEMA’s Be Smart. Know Your Alerts and Warnings for a summary of notifications at: www.ready.gov/prepare. Free smart phone apps, such as those available from FEMA and the American Red Cross, provide information about finding shelters, providing first aid, and seeking assistance for recovery.
  • Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.
  • Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.

Meteorologist/Staff Writer

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Broadcast meteorologist for 15 years (Marquette, Michigan; Burlington, VT; Albany, NY; South Jersey). NBC40 Chief meteorologist from December 2003 through December 2014. Press meteorologist since January 2015

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Here is Your South Jersey Forecast

TUESDAY► Mostly cloudy with some patchy drizzle and fog possible early as well a few scattered showers through midday. Some breaks of sun are possible later in the day, or at the very least drier weather. Cooler with highs around 75-80, thanks to a northeast wind around 10-15mph.

WEDNESDAY► Partly to mostly sunny and a fairly cooler and comfier late July day, with an easterly ocean breeze at 10-15mph keeping highs in the mid to upper 70s.

THURSDAY► Partly sunny and warmer as the humidity begins to creep upwards once again.  Highs in the upper 70s to near 80 along the shore, closer to 85 on the mainland. South winds around 10mph.

FRIDAY► Partly sunny, warm, and humid with some passing showers and thunderstorms possible, but far from a washout. Our warmest day of the forecast with highs in the mid to upper 80s, and a south to southwest wind around 15mph.

NEXT WEEKEND► Becoming partly to mostly sunny and comfortably warm with fairly low humidity. Highs in the upper 70s along the shore with light sea-breezes, low 80s farther inland.