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Contact Information

The points of contact between Rutgers Cooperative Extension Service and the grower & business communities are the NJ County Agricultural Agents. The agents are a tremendous source of information for both new and experienced growers. Visit your local county extension office.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Residents and Businesses Urged to Be Prepared for Potential 'Frankenstorm'

Emergency management officials throughout the Mid-Atlantic continue to track and monitor the progress of Hurricane Sandy and an associated hybrid storm system. Though the storm’s track remains uncertain at this time it threatens to mix with a winter storm in the West and arctic air from the North to bring heavy rainfall, strong damaging winds and coastal and inland flooding to our area early next week.

At this time residents are encouraged to stay informed and to discuss emergency plans with family members, including preparations for pets. Farmers should also do a self-audit risk assessment to make sure your business is prepared.
--Rick VanVranken 

Everyone should review and replenish their disaster supply kits. A complete list of items to include in a kit is available online at where one can also find evacuation routes, preparedness information for those with special needs, contact information for local emergency management offices and more.

Daryl Minch, Family and Community Health Sciences Educator from RCE-Somerset County, offers the following tips and suggests downloading a copy of fact sheet FS1178 - Help! My Refrigerator or Freezer Stopped Working. Is My Food Safe?
  • Fill all available freezer space with ice, preferably solid ice rather than ice cubes. It will melt more slowly. 
  • Make your own ice packs by freezing water in clean plastic containers such as beverage containers and juice or soda bottles. Make ice now. 
  • Place a thermometer in both the freezer & refrigerator. Note the time when the power goes out and when it comes back on. 
  • Keep the refrigerator & freezer doors closed as much as possible. A full refrigerator will hold at about 40° F temperature for about 4 hours. 
  • If power will be out longer, consolidate cold foods in coolers with ice to prolong safe keeping. 
  • A full freezer (in a refrigerator/freezer unit) will hold for about 2 days and a half full freezer about 1 day. A full stand-alone freezer may hold longer.
Farmers should also take a quick look at the self-audit risk assessment and preparedness checklists available at At the very least, make sure emergency contact information is updated, buildings are secured, spare batteries and flashlights are available, backup generators are fueled, and if you have livestock, you have extra water and feed on hand.

In addition to the web site, Atlantic County has established an emergency information hotline at 1-866-704-4636 where residents may call to receive preparedness information and storm updates. Residents are also encouraged to register with the county’s Community Notification System at to receive email or text alerts.

This hybrid storm, termed “Frankenstorm” by some forecasters, is anticipated to impact our area between Sunday and Wednesday, Halloween day. Residents should make preparations for a multi-day storm event.