Tips to Prepare for Evacuations

B SpotAs wicked weather continues to roll through New Jersey, heavy rains have the potential to cause flooding in parts of the Garden State. If your neighborhood is prone to flooding, you should be prepared to evacuate quickly if necessary.

Take the following steps to prepare:

  • Put your emergency preparedness kit in your vehicle. If you are being picked up or leaving on foot, put it by the door from which you normally exit your home.
  • Carry what you can, selecting the items you think you will need for a prolonged stay away from home.
  • Have at lease half a tank of gas in your vehicle.
  • Leave natural gas on, unless local officials advise you otherwise.
  • Turn off propane gas service valves.
  • Remove potential hazards in trees around your property that could blow or break off and fly around in strong winds.
  • Secure outside objects such as garbage cans and lawn furniture, or bring them inside.
  • Shut off fuel lines and/or turn off bottled propane at the tanks. DO NOT disconnect, a professional would need to reconnect your gas service.

If you are ordered to evacuate:

  • Leave as soon as possible, preferably in daylight.
  • Listen to local radio or television station and follow the instruction of local emergency officials.
  • Carry what you can, selecting the items most essential to your health and safety.
  • If advised by authorities, turn off electricity at the main fuse or breaker and turn off water at the main value.
  • Unplug electronic devices and turn off all utilities except the natural gas, unless advised otherwise.
  • Wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and sturdy shoes.
  • Secure your home as you normally would when leaving for an extended period, shutting and locking doors and windows. Close and secure hurricane shutters if you have them.
  • Use travel routes specified by local officials.
  • Get in touch with your out-of-area contact person and let them know where you’re going and when you expect to get there.

If you have disabilities or special needs, you can cope with disaster by preparing in advance. Plan according to your needs during a disaster situation. If possible, evacuate to the home of a family member or friend. If this is not possible, evacuate to an emergency shelter and DSC05523ediscuss your needs with the shelter manager upon arrival. Register with the State of New Jersey Office of Emergency Management’s Register Ready if you have not already done so.

EMERGENCY APP The FREE Red Cross Emergency App puts vital information at your fingertips. With more than 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts the app gives you real-time information to help keep you and your loved ones safe. The app contains information on what you can do before, during and after emergencies to help keep families safe. Whether it’s flooding, power outages or severe storms, the Emergency App keeps you in the know and prepared to respond.

The app is available in English and Spanish in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or at

For more information about flood safety, visit

Red Cross Hydration and Family Reunification Stations Open for Papal Visit

Red Cross volunteers are out in New Jersey and Philly helping support Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia with water and reunification services for people who become separated from loved ones amid large crowds.

20150926_140553Hydration Stations in New Jersey

The Red Cross has opened three Hydration Stations  to offer water to those walking over the Benjamin Franklin Bridge at the following locations in Camden:

  • EZ Pass toll plaza at the base of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge — Closed
  • the intersection of Cooper Street and Front Street — Closed
  • the intersection of Broadway and Federal Street — Closed

Family Reunification Station in New Jersey

Individuals who become separated from their friends and family during the Papal Visit can call 1-855-259-2114 for assistance.

Red Cross volunteers and stations are also available in Philadelphia throughout the weekend.

Download the Red Cross Emergency App

in addition to weather safety tips and alerts, the FREE Red Cross Emergency App also contains a Large-Scale Events section that includes content about how people can prepare and what they should do while attending large gatherings.

Congratulations to Jazzin’ at the Lakeside Essay Contest Winners!

Jazz RCO Homepage Image 292x199Congratulations to Liene Zigure of Lakeland Regional High School and Matthew Iwaniura of West Morris Mendham High School whose essays on the importance of American jazz scored them two free tickets to our 32nd Annual Jazzin’ at the Lakeside on Sunday, September 27 at the Indian Train Club in Franklin Lakes courtesy of the event committee.

The fundraising concert will feature performances by world-renowned musicians Warren Vaché on cornet, Bucky Pizzarelli on guitar, Derek Smith on piano, Bill Easley on tenor saxophone, Earl Sauls on bass and Eliot Zigmund on drums.

Proceeds will help support American Red Cross programs and services, including Disaster Services.

GET YOUR TICKETS TODAY! Join us for great food, good friends and, of course, incredible jazz at our 32nd annual Jazzin’ at the Lakeside jazz concert and brunch. Brunch will begin at 12:30 p.m. and transition to the concert at 2:00 p.m. To purchase tickets, call (609) 951-2118.

Check out Liene & Matthew’s winning essays.

Liene Zigure, Lakeland Regional High School, Foreign Exchange Student from Latvia

Jazz was a major presence in the 20th century music scene and its popularity hasn’t diminished today. As one of the great musicgenres that was born in the United States, it is an integral part of American culture. In late 19th century throughout 20th century when racism was a bigger issue than now, performing jazz music was a mechanism for African-American self-expression and created a sense of peace and comfort though their music. At that time people were more interested in creating truly great music than in achieving a commercial success. This sadly, is no longer a reality we can observe in today’s music industry. Not only jazz has brought people together from the United States, but it has also helped people of different races to integrate and be viewed as equal. Although discrimination still existed, jazz performances helped to reduce that. Also as it became a greater presence with white musicians, boundaries were lifted.  

I come from a country whose history and culture would be unimaginable without music. We highly appreciate and value music because for 52 years it was the only way to express our true feelings. I believe that people from Latvia, then taken over by the Soviet Union) could’ve related to jazz since it also was performed when people dealt with inequality, enslavement and abasement. This is something both Latvians and some American’s had in common for a long period of time. I’ve been into music since I was a small child, but for last 9 years I’ve also been learning how to sing and play piano. As a high school exchange student in a foreign country I seek opportunities to experience cultural events in the United States, especially those with a relation of music. Since jazz concerts aren’t so widely available in my home country Latvia, 32nd Annual Jazzin’ At The Lakeside is a great way how to expand my knowledge and comprehension of jazz music.

Matthew Iwaniura, West Morris Mendham High School, Mendham, New Jersey

American Jazz can be seen as a shining beacon of hope for most Americans during the late 1920s and early 1930s. During the time, America and most of the world suffered due to the Great Depression. Poverty was a common sight throughout the country and unemployment was as high as 25%. Although this age was known as the Great Depression it also has a more positive name known as the Jazz Age. People turned to jazz as an escape the outside world and its hardship. The music would enter people’s minds at various jazz bars around the country and ease all their worries. Big names such as Fletcher Henderson, Duke Ellington, and Paul Whiteman would gain the attention in New York. Many musicians would go around the country to major cities such as New Orleans and Chicago in search of employment. Jazz was spreading to each city, giving people ease during hard times. America was also the birthplace of jazz. Jazz was born in the early 20th century in New Orleans. It was a perfect place for it to born. This is because New Orleans is a port city where many different ethnic groups met. It also explains why jazz has different musical elements from European and African music. From African music it has its rhythm, feel, and blues quality. From the European side, it combines a perfect harmony and a extravagant blend of instruments such as the saxophone. The real importance of jazz is how it shapes America’s identity. Jazz helps this country become more unique and elegant country. Jazz displays the hardships and growth this country faced. America will be known as the country who gave birth to such a unique category of music.

Jazz also influenced me to play an instrument. I play a Alto saxophone in a advanced wind ensemble at West Morris Mendham High School. I play alongside friends and the best conductor I could ask for. Jazz music drives my passion for playing and relaxes me. It also motivates me out of early in the morning just so I could get to school faster and produce music with my friends.   

Remembering a Hero Lost on 9/11

Thomas Gorman

Thomas Gorman

Officer Thomas Gorman was one of the many who died during the tragic events on September 11, 2001. Tom was a member of the Port Authority Emergency Services Unit working out of the Journal Square PATH station in Jersey City when the attacks occurred. Tom and fellow officers rushed over to the World Trade Center to help rescue the thousands of people in the towers.

Tom was always dedicated to saving lives. Before joining the Port Authority, he was a firefighter with the Bayonne Fire Department. He was also an avid blood donor.

Several times a year, Tom would roll up his sleeve to donate blood. It was something he did naturally, believing in the importance of the act and what it could mean for others. Over the years Tom donated gallons, making his final donation on September 10, the day before the terrorist attacks.

Tom is one of the many heroes lost that day but never forgotten.

Roll Up a Sleeve to Help #RestockTheShelves

August 2015 Appeal_Platelet Plasma needWith the kiddos heading back to school in some areas and vacation tans starting to fade, it may feel like summer is beginning to wind down. For the American Red Cross, though, summer isn’t over yet, and it still needs blood and platelet donations to help ensure a sufficient blood supply throughout August. 

Platelet donors and those with types AB, O negative, B negative and A negative blood are especially needed to help restock Red Cross shelves and prevent an emergency shortage. Donors are encouraged to download the free Blood Donor App to schedule a convenient appointment and keep abreast of current blood supply needs. The app even notifies donors when their donation is distributed to a hospital.

If you gave earlier this summer, you might be eligible to give again. For those who have been meaning to donate, but haven’t gotten around to it, please don’t put it off until some other time. 

How important is it to donate this month? From June through August, on average, about two fewer donors schedule an appointment at Red Cross blood drives than what is needed for patients. That can add up to more than 100,000 fewer donations during the summer. Your donation counts more than you might think. 

If you are unable to give blood, you can still support the Red Cross by signing up to host a blood drive, volunteering your time, asking others to donate or creating a SleevesUp virtual blood drive.

Every day this summer is a chance to help save lives. Please make an appointment to help #RestockTheShelves by downloading the Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.

9/11 Memorial Blood Drive

9.11 Poster 7.22

To make an appointment, visit

Ridgewood Red Cross Club to Host Blood Drive

Ridgewood Blood Drive Flyer_8.12.2015



To make an appointment, visit


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