“It just happened so fast,” stated a resident of Mullica Hill following last week’s tornado events in Harrison Township, Deptford Township, and Gloucester Township. Here in Wenonah, we were fortunate, this time. But we all can recall our shared experience when our Borough was hard hit by the 2015 microburst. That weather event caused severe damage throughout the town and knocked out power for nearly a week.
Wenonah has in place an Office of Emergency Management (OEM) that works with similar offices at the County and State levels. Our Borough and County OEM team has emergency response contingencies to allow us to respond as quickly as possible to these crises. I have the utmost confidence in our first responders, including our fire department and our police, to respond to any emergency that may arise. But we need your help. It is important that we all ensure that we are as safe as possible and take appropriate shelter when warned. Have a plan beforehand. Identify the safest location in your home, away from windows and preferably in your basement. Although tornadoes are rare is this area, we have experienced numerous warnings this year.
The difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning means the difference between taking action or taking precautions. A watch means that conditions are favorable for a tornado to occur. A warning means that a tornado has been seen or picked up by radar. A warning requires you to take shelter and brace for a potential tornado.
We are indeed fortunate to live in an age when the National Weather Service can identify potential threats and issue warnings beforehand. The technology allows warnings to be issued promptly and directly to our homes, through our phones, radios, and televisions. I urge all residents to heed those warnings and seek appropriate shelter. Better to be safe than to grab a video or photo to post on social media. Remember… next time, it will likely again “just happen so fast.”
John R. Dominy Richard Black
Mayor, Borough of Wenonah Office of Emergency Management, Borough of Wenonah