Hurricanes & Flooding Safety Tips

Flood Signal Meanings

  • Watch Signal: 3 minute short intermittent blasts of fire siren (Prepare!) 
  • Warning Signal: 3 minute steady blast of fire siren (Evacuate!)
  • Look for posted yellow "flood watch" and red "flood warning" sign
  • Sound trucks will broadcast through affected neighborhoods; block Captains will notify their flood-prone areas


The Borough of Pompton Lakes lies between the Pequannock and Ramapo Rivers, contains the Wanaque River within its borders and is periodically subject to flooding. High water levels can occur at any time of the year, but are more likely to occur during the spring due to rain in combination with snow runoff and during the late summer and fall which is the prime season for tropical storms and hurricanes in the Northern New Jersey area. Combinations of weather conditions that spawn tornadoes also occur in Northern New Jersey.

A Flood or Hurricane Watch Will Be in Effect if Flooding or a Hurricane is Expected

Precautions Should Be Taken by All Residents

  1. Check your home for any loose shingles and shutters, shaky chimneys and other objects such as lawn furniture, toys, garden tools, garbage cans and garbage can covers which can cause damage when carried by high winds. Secure tool sheds and playground sets. Store valuables such as books, photographs, records, etc., in areas of the home which are not subject to inundation.
  2. Maintain battery-powered equipment such as radios, flashlights, etc.
  3. Each resident of the dwelling should learn the location of the water supply pipeline valves, electrical switches and gas shut off valves. Do not wait until areas of your home become inaccessible to shut off the services.
  4. Keep tuned to local radio and television stations for the latest weather advisories and special instructions from your local government. Radio station WGHT in Pompton Lakes (1500 KHZ)  will remain on the air or return to the air during storm emergencies and will be the local source of official information or tune into 98.3FM. Cable-TV News Channel 12 will also provide up to date information, as well as reverse 911 notification messages.
  5. Keep your cars fueled should evacuation be necessary. Service stations will be inoperable in the event of electrical outages. Move cars to high ground for protection.
  6. Store drinking water in clean bathtubs, jugs, bottles, and cooking utensils in the event that the municipal water system is affected by the storm.
  7. Board up windows or protect them with storm shutters.
  8. Do not run generator indoors or near open windows or doors.

Flood Warnings

A flood or hurricane warning becomes effective when flooding and/or high winds are imminent. As the storm progresses to where flooding and/or high winds exist, a flood or hurricane emergency will be declared.


When a flood or hurricane warning is issued and during an emergency:
  1. Mobile broadcast units will be dispatched to the areas effected with local instructions. Listen to WGHT and Channel 12 for further information. Do not call Police Headquarters or the Emergency Management phone to avoid tying up emergency phone lines. Local information will be available from the Borough emergency phone at 835-0143, extension 707 during declared emergencies. This number should also be used for requests and offers of assistance. School closings and early dismissal policies are determined by the Board of Education based on the particular situation. Up-to-date information will be available through WGHT and Channel 12, and the reverse 911 notification system.
  2. If you choose to remain at home, stay indoors. Keep children of all ages away from the riverbanks and out of the floodwaters. Do not drive unless it is essential. Never drive through flooded roadways.
  3. Double check to see that all loose objects are secured and that valuables, furniture and appliances (if possible) are moved to higher areas of the home. Move your automobiles to high ground if the floodwaters are a threat to your area.
  4. Make the necessary precautions in the event you choose to or are ordered to evacuate your home. An evacuation warning will be issued through short, intermittent blasts of the fire sirens. This signal will indicate the possibility of evacuation from your area becoming necessary in the hours following. The signal to evacuate will be a three minute long, continuous blast of the siren. Do not hesitate to leave your home. Prolonging your departure makes access to your home by rescue workers difficult as the storm progresses. If there are ill, elderly, or disabled persons in your home prepare for an early evacuation as access by ambulance also becomes difficult as the storm advances. Call the Borough emergency number or the Police Department if you require assistance. Be patient.
  5. Shutoff water and gas supply lines and electrical circuit breakers, when leaving your home.
  6. Evacuation shelters will be established at the Lakeside School, Carnevale Center on Lenox Avenue, and other locations if needed. If you leave your home and do not need public shelter, go to the shelter to register so your whereabouts will be known. Please bring medications and blankets and pillows, if possible. Pets are not permitted in the shelters but will be accepted at the Pompton Lakes Animal Hospital on Cannonball Road as a no-fee service.

Emergency Shelters

  1. Shelter Number 1

    Carnevale Center
    10 Lenox Avenue
    Pompton Lakes, NJ07442
  2. Shelter Number 2

    Lakeside School
    316 Lakeside Avenue
    Pompton Lakes, NJ 07442
  3. Shelter Number 3

    Pompton Lakes High School
    44 Lakeside Avenue
    Pompton Lakes, NJ. 07442

When the Emergency is Over

  1. Check with local law enforcement agencies to determine if it is safe to re-enter your street and home.
  2. Document and photograph (if possible) all damages. Do not dispose of any property without prior approval from your insurance company.
  3. WGHT (1500 KHZ), Channel 12 and Channel 77 will provide information on drinking water safety, the issuance of food, water and cleanup kits as well as garbage pickup schedules. Information for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other agency assistance will also be available.
  4. Disinfect areas effected by water with a mild solution of soap and bleach. Lime should be spread over lawn areas to minimize the spread of infectious elements.
  5. Remember that in Pompton Lakes the rivers crest approximately 12 hours after the end of the rain and will continue to rise 1 to 1 and a half feet during that time. If you need your basement pumped, call the Fire Department at 973-835-0072 and you will be placed on a waiting list. The Fire Department will not begin pumping until the water stops rising. Be patient. Limited facilities and manpower are available.