With Summer Heat and Potential Power Shortages, Hamilton Mayor Urges Residents to Add Cellular Phone Numbers to the Township’s Emergency Notification and Public Announcement System
With the high temperatures and heat index there is always the possibility that energy usage could lead to power shortages–even if it is not expected. Hamilton Township Mayor John Bencivengo is urging residents to consider adding cellular phone numbers to be contacted through the Township’s Emergency Notification and Public Announcement System.
The Township’s upgraded notification system, which was announced in the winter, allows residents and property owners to add up to two (2) additional phone numbers (home phone numbers and land-based business lines are already included in the new program and do NOT need to be entered) and one (1) E-mail address to its database.
“If during a power outage we need to notify residents of important safety information, residents who have phone service through the Internet (Voice over Internet Protocol) could lose their phone service (via a modem losing power),” explains Mayor John Bencivengo. “But, in such a scenario, having a cellular phone number in our system would still allow residents to be reached by a mobile phone.”
On the Township homepage, under an icon link entitled “Sign Up for Hamilton Township’s Emergency Notification and Public Announcement system”, residents can update any information they desire for inclusion in the program. Residents will be required to provide their first and last name, their street address, city, county, state and zip code, as well as the additional phone number or e-mail address. Directions are listed under a link above the “Sign Up” icon. So far this year, Hamilton residents have already added nearly 1,100 alternate phone numbers to the system (which could include mobile phone numbers or out-of-town work phone numbers).
If residents do not have access to personal computer, they may either use a computer available at the Hamilton Township Public Library (located at 1 Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. Way) or contact the HamStat Call Center at (609) 586-0311 and have a call taker enter the information. All collected information will be kept confidential and only used for the purposes of official Township updates during emergency situations or important public advisories.
When an emergency happens, communication to residents is a top priority of Mayor John Bencivengo and Hamilton Township’s Office of Emergency Management. For instance, during last night’s power outage, the Township posted information on its website and Facebook account, as well as send out an E-mail notice to residents, so that residents with mobile access to the internet could obtain information.
While the major energy provider for the Hamilton Township area, PSE&G, has taken steps to meet the expected high demand for electricity and stated earlier this week that it expects no problems delivering additional power, PSE&G lists the following steps on its website that customers can take to stay comfortable and conserve in heat situations.
Those steps include:
• Turn off everything you’re not using, including TVs and computers.
• If health conditions permit, raise your air conditioner to 78 degrees. You can save 3 to 5 percent on air conditioning costs for each degree you raise the thermostat.
• Also use fans to circulate air. Portable and ceiling fans use a tenth of the electricity of an air conditioner and can make 78 degrees feel cooler than it actually is.
• Close blinds, shades and draperies facing the sun to block summer light and help fans and air conditioners cool more efficiently.
• Close doors leading to uncooled parts of your home. If you have central air conditioning, close off vents to unused rooms.
• Check to ensure that no furniture or other obstacles are blocking ducts or fans, which will enable cooled air to circulate more frequently.
• Cook and use other heat-generating appliances in the early morning and late evening hours whenever possible.
To view demonstrations of how to save energy in your home, visit PSEG’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/psegvideo
For more energy saving tips and to conduct a free online home energy analysis, visit www.pseg.com/saveenergy. Click onto the “At Home with Energy Star” video podcast.