Message from the Manager
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has issued a warning that a marketing company is using two toll-free numbers that are very similar to toll-free numbers used by the Veterans Benefit Administration (VBA). The marketer is trying to get callers to sign up to receive a Walmart gift card and is asking for personal data, including credit card information. When asked if they are the VA, they reply vaguely and explain that the VA is very busy and the call was directed to them. They don’t say they are the VA, but they say they can help with VA benefits, if asked. In addition, they even offer to transfer the call to the VA, after the caller provides the credit card information to get the free Walmart gift card.
This issue has been reported to the Office of the Inspector General and the Federal Trade Commission for review. The two numbers identified in this alert are:
• 1-800-872-1000, which is very close to VBA main number of 1-800-827-1000; and
• 1-888-442-4511, which is very close to the GI-Bill number of 1-888-442-4551.
The VA recommends that veterans who feel they have disclosed personal information to an unauthorized individual should immediately contact their credit card companies to advise them of the situation, review transactions, and request that a new card number be issued. Veterans can request a free credit report from credit reporting agencies. In addition, the VA requests that veterans contact the FTC at 1-877-382-4357 and file a complaint.
Media Relations Manager
Atlantic City Electric
MAYS LANDING, NJ. – Atlantic City Electric has recently been advised by the NJ Board of Public Utilities (BPU) that scammers posing as third party energy suppliers are sending fake utility bills via email to some NJ utility customers. The email asks that customers click on a link contained within the email. It is suspected that, by clicking the link, the customer’s computer could become infected with a virus or malware.
Atlantic City Electric asks customers to only pay their utility bill by visiting atlanticcityelectric.com or by sending the hard copy of the remittance portion of the invoice through the mail. Customers should not open any email asking that payment be made on their utility bill unless sent by Atlantic City Electric or by the customers’ respective third party energy supplier.
Many companies, including Atlantic City Electric, contact customers in person or via phone for various reasons. If someone claims to represent a company, whether the company is Atlantic City Electric or another entity, it is important that customers take precautions to verify that the person is affiliated with the company, especially if that person is requesting an immediate monetary payment.
When addressing past due accounts, Atlantic City Electric never endorses a specific form of payment. Instead, multiple payment options are always given to the customer.
Atlantic City Electric advises customers to ask for official photo identification from any person who shows up at their door. Employees from reputable companies, such as Atlantic City Electric, will carry official company identification cards. If proper identification cannot be produced, customers should notify police and the company with whom the individual claims to be associated.
Similarly, if someone calls saying they represent a certain company, customers should ask them to verify their identity and affiliation. If customers have any doubt about the validity of a person’s claim to represent Atlantic City Electric, they should call the company immediately at 1-800-642-3780.
For more information about Atlantic City Electric, visit www.atlanticcityelectric.com.Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/atlanticcityelectric and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/acelecconnect. Our mobile app is available at www.atlanticcityelectric.com/mobileapp.
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.
Friday, 06 July 2012 15:42 Michael Feely
Last year Brigantine avoided potential disaster when Hurricane Irene (by then downgraded to a tropical storm) made landfall just north of the island. Evacuation of the island, under the direction of Governor Christie, went well – with the possible exception of issues with finding shelter for all evacuees. We suffered minimal damage in view of a major catastrophic event, but we may not be so lucky next time. The Atlantic County Department of Emergency Management had been developing county and municipal CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams) to supplement the local first responders who might be overwhelmed by a potential local event. CERT was developed and implemented by the City of Los Angeles Fire Department in 1985. They recognized that citizens would very likely be on their own during the early stages of a catastrophic disaster. Accordingly, LAFD decided that some basic training in disaster survival and rescue skills would improve the ability of citizens to survive and to safely help others until first responders or other assistance could arrive. The training model that the LAFD initiated was adopted by other fire departments around the country, including communities where hurricanes are the major threat. Building on this development, in 1994 the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) expanded the CERT materials to address all hazards and made the program available nationwide. The CERT program seeks to engage everyone in America in making their communities safer, more prepared, and more resilient when incidents occur. With training and information, individuals and community groups can be prepared to serve as a crucial resource capable of performing many emergency functions needed in the immediate post-disaster period. Extensive research of the 1962 storm that devastated Brigantine, when the sea met the bay with devastating results, shows the need for residents to be prepared. The stories of longtime residents as well as the pictures of that event clearly illustrate what will happen when the island of Brigantine encounters a direct hit by a hurricane in the future. At the urging of Fire Emergency Management Director Lt. Jim Bennett, this reporter signed up for Atlantic County’s CERT basic training program – a 24-hour program taught over a series of Saturdays. The course covered the following subjects: Disaster Preparedness, Fire Safety and Utility Controls, Disaster Medical Operations, Search and Rescue Operations, CERT Organization, Disaster Psychology, Terrorism and CERT and concluded with a disaster simulation and final exam. CERT training is an ongoing program and has hundreds of training modules to prepare for an eventual emergency. The city of Brigantine is currently looking for volunteers for the municipal CERT team. CERT volunteers will assist local first responders whenever the magnitude of a disaster overwhelms their resources. To support this development, the county’s Emergency Management team has agreed to come teach the course in Brigantine this fall. If you are interested in becoming part of this team in order to protect residents and their homes in an emergency situation, contact Lt. Jim Bennett at: Join CERT by Contacting Lieutenant James Bennett by filling out the form or contacting him 609-266-7414
The Brigantine Planning Board Meetings can now be watched and heard live on the City Ustream channel. City Manager Jennifer Blumenthal worked diligently with Lt. Bennett & Reed to bring this to the residents. This is a developing service and we will continue to monitor how well the service is working. Check the Planning Board Calendar for agenda times. (Coming soon). The Planning can also be watched on Comcast Cable’s Channel 2.
To access the City of Brigantine Ustream.tv channel http://www.ustream.tv/channel/city-of-brigantine , go to the City Website www.bb-nj.com and click on the Ustream.tv icon. Mobile device users will need to download the free Ustream app from their app stores to access the channel. The channel also can be found by searching for the City of Brigantine on Ustream.tv.
NOTE: meeting will not be recorded.
CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION URGES RESIDENTS TO RECYCLE USED ELECTRONIC DEVICES DURING THE HOLIDAY GIFT SEASON
“Recycling of e-waste is an increasingly important and easy-to-accomplish effort, one that is making an impact on reducing trash tonnage across our state,” DEP Commissioner Bob Martin said. “These electronic devices can no longer be placed at the curb for trash pickup. They can be taken to specially designated e-waste recycling drop-off points conveniently located in our cities and towns or to retailers that accept these materials.”
Since taking effect in 2010, with collection points established in 2011, the state’s Electronic Waste Management Act has dramatically increased the amount of recycled e-waste, keeping potentially hazardous materials out of landfills and incinerators. Through the third quarter of 2013, more than 100 million pounds of e-waste has been diverted from the regular waste stream.
The law does not require recycling of cell phones, DVD players, VCRs, game consoles, or other electronic devices, although retailers and service organizations provide drop-off opportunities for recycling of these items.
Discarded TVs, computers and computer monitors contain lead, mercury, cadmium, nickel, zinc, brominated flame retardants, and other potentially hazardous materials, while Cathode Ray Tubes, or CRTs, contain large amounts of lead that is used to shield consumers from radiation.
Electronic waste makes up 2 percent of the solid waste disposed in New Jersey. But as a result of consumer demand for new technologies, and subsequent disposal of old devices, e-waste is growing faster than any other component of the solid waste stream.
“The DEP is working hard to improve the public’s understanding of proper disposal of e-waste and to make it easy to do,” said DEP Assistant Commissioner for Environmental Management Jane Kozinski. “Please help spread the word on proper disposal of old electronics to family and friends, to keep those old televisions, computers or iPads out of the trash.
- Tell your friends & family you are OK via text, email, Twitter, Facebook and other social media.
- Learn how to send updates via text and internet from your mobile phone to your contacts and social channels in case voice communications are not available. Avoid calling by phone.
- If you have a life-threatening emergency, call 9-1-1. Remember that you cannot currently text 9-1-1. If you are not experiencing an emergency, do not call 9-1-1.
- Save important phone numbers to your phone.
- Keep charged batteries and car-phone chargers available as back-up power for your cell phone.
- Conserve your cell phone battery by reducing the brightness of your screen, placing your phone in airplane mode, and closing apps you are not using that draw power.
- Immediately following a disaster, resist using your mobile device to watch streaming videos, download music or videos, or play video games, all of which can add to network congestion. Limiting use of these services can help potentially life-saving emergency calls get through to 9-1-1.
- If you do not have a cell phone, keep a prepaid phone card to use if needed during or after a disaster.
- Charge your digital camera or buy batteries for your film camera if you need to document storm damage afterwards.
- Get connected with us through the tools listed on this page: texts, Twitter and more.
Other emergency services and tips throughout the storm will be available through the following sites and social media:
City of Brigantine – www.bb-nj.com
City of Brigantine FACEBOOK- https://www.facebook.com/brigantinebeachnj
City of Brigantine TWITTER- @Brigantinenj
Brigantine Police – FACEBOOK- https://www.facebook.com/brigantinepolice
Brigantine Police -TWITTER- @Brigantinepd
Brigantine on NIXLE- http://local.nixle.com/brigantine-police-department/
Brigantine Office of Emergency Management ” OEM” – http://brigantinepolice.org/oem
National Weather Service — www.erh.noaa.gov/er/phi/
New Jersey Office of Emergency Management — www.ready.nj.gov
ReadyNJ Alerts and Updates Blog — www.readynj.wordpress.com
NJOEM on Facebook — www.facebook.com/READYNEWJERSEY
NJOEM on Twitter — www.twitter.com/ReadyNJ
NJ State Police on Facebook — www.facebook.com/NewJerseyStatePolice
NJ State Police on Twitter — www.twitter.com/NJSP
Families use alternative heating sources during the cold weather (it’s a good idea to have one available in case the furnace fails), please take the following precautions:
Be sure to allow proper ventilation and place it in a safe location away from flammable objects. You should have at least 3 feet of clearance between your alternative heat source and anything that could burn.
Always turn off alternative heat sources before leaving or going to bed and do not leave children or pets unattended around any heating source. This includes extinguishing the embers in the fireplace – and never leave a fire burning unattended in the fireplace.
Use generators only as independent power sources. Keep them outside and run a cord inside. Don’t connect generators to main service panels. This could injure or kill utility workers trying to restore power.
Use a sturdy screen in front of the fireplace to avoid sparks from flying out and igniting nearby objects and burn only clean wood.
The immediate area in front of a fireplace (approximately 3 feet) should not have a rug, carpet or exposed wood flooring.
Allow enough clearance between a wood-burning stove and combustible materials such as walls, floors and ceilings.
Make sure the flue is open before lighting a fire.
Never close the flue while a fire is still smoldering.
Never use gasoline or lighter fluid to start a fire.
When lighting a gas fireplace, strike the match first, then turn on the gas.
Burn only dry, seasoned wood and dispose of the cooled ashes in a closed metal container outside of your home.
Portable / Kerosene Heater
Don’t use an extension cord with a portable heater. The current from the heater could melt the cord and cause a fire.
Make sure the room has proper ventilation before using a kerosene heater.
Since a kerosene heater has a constant open flame, it should not be used in a room where there are flammable solvents, aerosol sprays, gasoline or any type of oil.
Do not use a fluid that is not recommended for your heater. Refuel outside and only after the heater has cooled down.
Check the heater’s wick every couple of weeks during the heating season. If the wick is dirty, clean it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Water freezing in your cold and hot water pipes can cause serious problems. While this freezing takes place, the pipe begins to swell and may burst. In most cases, the actual break doesn’t appear until the water begins to thaw.
A little bit of planning can make for a dryer, happier winter. Brigantine Water Department encourages residents to take the following preventative actions to protect home plumbing:
Locate and mark the main water cutoff valve for your home. This cutoff valve is usually found near where the waterline comes into your house. Damage from running water can be minimized if you can turn off this valve quickly.
Make sure the waterline to outside faucets is turned off and the line is drained. Consider wrapping or insulating your water pipes, especially those pipes near outside walls, under the house or in the attic. Insulation supplies are available at local home improvement or hardware stores.
Eliminate drafts. Check around the home for areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas and take measures to prevent the flow of cold air in these areas. Look in the basement, crawl space, attic, garage and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated. A hot water supply line can freeze just as a cold water supply line can if water is not running through the pipe and the water temperature becomes cold.
If a water pipe freezes, never try to thaw it with an open flame or torch. You can use a hair dryer or portable heater, but always be careful of the potential for electric shock in and around standing water.
If you will be away from your home, keep the thermostat at a reasonable temperature to make sure all areas with water pipes are kept above freezing.
If you suspect you have a frozen water meter, call Brigantine Water Department for help.
Business hours: 609-266-7800
After hours Emergency : 609-266-7414 or 911
If you are vacating your home because you have lost your heat source, locate and turn off your main water cutoff valve.
After the valve is turned off, open a faucet on each level of your home to allow for expansion should the undrained water freeze.
If you are staying in your home or will be monitoring your home frequently, allow a faucet to drip cold water slowly. At a minimum, the dripping faucet should be the one that is the greatest distance from your main water cutoff valve.
Consider allowing a slow drip in areas that are least protected from the cold (basements, crawl spaces, attics and garages).
If the pipe breaks, quickly shut off the water valve, if you haven’t already done so. Then call a plumber. They have the know-how to correctly fix the break.
Should you call the fire department? Only if the water gets in or near electrical outlets or panels, or if the water threatens a pilot light or power to a water heater or furnace.
Heating emergency numbers
• Atlantic Electric 1-800-833-7476 http://www.atlanticcityelectric.com
• South Jersey Gas: 609-561-9000. http://southjerseygas.com/
We are only a phone call away …If you need help please call us..
Non -Emergency Dial 266-7414
Emergency Dial 911