By: Christian Oberly
ATLANTIC COUNTY, N.J. — Starting with Atlantic County’s first Code Blue Alert for 2020, there are four South Jersey counties with Code Blue Activations this week.
The counties of Cumberland, Cape May, and Gloucester have also activated Code Blue, due to the frigid temperatures affecting our region this week. The National Weather Service has also issued a Winter Weather Advisory for parts of our area from Jan. 7 at 5 p.m. through midnight, with a chance of snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches.
Below are the announced timings of the Code Blue Activations:
Atlantic County: Tuesday, Jan. 7 from 6 p.m. – 6 a.m.; Wednesday, Jan. 8 from 6 p.m. – 6 a.m. (morning of Thursday, Jan. 9)
Cape May County: Tuesday, Jan. 7 from 6 p.m. – 6 a.m.; Wednesday, Jan. 8 from 6 p.m. – 6 a.m. (morning of Thursday, Jan. 9)
Cumberland County: Wednesday, Jan. 8 from 6 p.m. – 6 a.m. (morning of Thursday, Jan. 9)
Gloucester County: Tuesday, Jan. 7 from 8 p.m. – 9 a.m.; Wednesday, Jan. 8 from 8 p.m. – 9 a.m. (morning of Thursday, Jan. 9)
According to a press release from Atlantic County, a Code Blue Alert is required to be issued, “within 24 to 48 hours of weather conditions that may meet the following criteria based upon National Weather Service forecasts: Temperatures will reach 25 degrees Fahrenheit or lower without precipitation or 32 degrees Fahrenheit or lower with precipitation; or wind-chill temperatures of 0 degrees or less for a period of two or more hours.”
Code Blue Alerts are intended to assist municipalities with the protection of residents in poorly insulated settings or citizens who may be living outdoors and are at risk for weather-related exposure and possible death.
New Jersey Senator Mike Testa’s office also addressed the dangerously dropping temperatures.
“It is a disaster waiting to happen when vulnerable individuals, especially the homeless, are exposed to brutal weather conditions,” said Testa. “When the temperature drops below freezing, we want to ensure everyone has a warm, safe place to escape the cold and lay their heads at night. We don’t want people risking their lives, and urge them to take precautions and seek help when necessary.”
Any resident who experiences a life-threatening emergency should call 9-1-1. Non-life threatening emergencies may be reported to your local municipal office of emergency management.
A slight reprieve from the chill will happen on Saturday, Jan. 11 — as temperatures are reported to be in the low-to-mid 60’s that day, which will come close to the area’s record high of 66 degrees, according to Weather Underground’s historical data.
Contact information for all Atlantic County offices is available online at: www.readyatlantic.org/mainpages/localems.asp
More information about Code Blue activations, deactivations, and warming centers can be found on the NJ211.org website or by calling 2-1-1.