Summit Public Schools will remain closed for the remainder of the week according to messages released by Summit Mayor Ellen Dickson and the Summit Police Department. Residents are encouraged to stay with relatives who have power because Jersey Central Power & Light isn't expected to make restoration to Summit for up to 7 or 10 days, according to a CodeRED message sent out to the city around 2:15p.m.
Dickson gave an update on a conference call she had today with JCP&L on her Facebook page: "Just got off conference call with JCP&L. They are still doing assessments. Power is out to 90% of their customers. Have to work from transmission to distribution," she wrote earlier today. "Bottom line a long process."
The Summit Middle School continues to operate as a Red Cross shelter, with nearly 1000 residents from Summit and nearby utilizing the facility. Dickson asked that individuals seeking shelter please try to bring items such as coffee grinds for the coffeemakers there.Other places that are open to residents for warmth, charging and even food include:
— Douglas Infiniti (491 Morris Ave) and Douglas Volkswagen (430 Morris Ave), open until 4p.m.
— Calvary Episcopal Church is open for "warmth, food and conversation," the church said in an email to Patch. "There is PLENTY of food and everyone is welcome."
Residents are also advised to use extreme caution with generators. Police issued and advisory today that said there have been some "close calls" with people using generators too close to their homes. Here is a list of generator safety tips:
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC):
• From 1999 to 2010, nearly 600 generator-related carbon monoxide (CO) deaths have been reported to the CPSC.
• CO poisoning from generator use causes an annual average of 81 deaths. The majority of the deaths occurred as a result of using a generator inside a home’s living space, in the basement or in the garage.
• One generator produces as much CO as hundreds of cars. CO from a generator is deadly and can incapacitate and kill you within minutes.
Portable generators are useful when temporary or remote electric power is needed, but they can be hazardous. The primary hazards to avoid when using them are carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock or electrocution, and fire.
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) would like you to know that there are simple steps you can take to prevent the loss of life and property resulting from improper use of portable generators.
To Avoid Carbon Monoxide Hazards:
•Always use generators outdoors, away from doors, windows and vents. •NEVER use generators in homes, garages, basements, crawl spaces, or other enclosed or partially enclosed areas, even with ventilation.
•Follow manufacturer's instructions.
•Install battery-operated or plug-in (with battery backup) carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home, following manufacturer's instructions.
•Test CO alarms often and replace batteries when needed.
To Avoid Electrical Hazards:
•Keep the generator dry. Operate on a dry surface under an open, canopy- like structure.
•Dry your hands before touching the generator.
•Plug appliances directly into generator or use a heavy-duty outdoor- rated extension cord. Make sure the entire extension cord is free of cuts or tears and the plug has all 3 prongs, especially a grounding pin.
•NEVER plug the generator into a wall outlet. This practice, known as backfeeding, can cause an electrocution risk to utility workers and others served by the same utility transformer.
•If necessary to connect generator to house wiring to power appliances, have a qualified electrician install appropriate equipment. Or, your utility company may be able to install an appropriate transfer switch.
To Avoid Fire Hazards:
•Before refueling the generator, turn it off and let it cool. Fuel spilled on hot engine parts could ignite.
•Always store fuel outside of living areas in properly labeled, non-glass containers.
•Store fuel away from any fuel-burning appliance.
Please visit http://www.usfa.fema.gov/citizens/co/generator.shtm for additional portable generator safety information.