The Galloway Township Middle School gymnasium will open as a shelter of last resort for Galloway residents who may be forced from their homes by Hurricane Sandy, emergency management officials said Sunday afternoon.
The shelter is scheduled to open Monday morning, Oct. 29 at 8 a.m.
"There will be no beds, no amenities. It's just a place to ride out the storm," Galloway Township Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Michael Brandenberger said. "It's for people who lose power during the storm, to give them a place to come and ride out the storm."
Residents are not permitted to bring pets, and they are asked to bring all their own supplies. No one from the Red Cross will be on hand.
The middle school opened as a shelter for residents following the summer derecho, as well. However, in that instance, cots and medical help were available.
"It's a place to come, it has electricity so people know they won't freeze," Galloway Police Chief Pat Moran said.
The Galloway Township Emergency Center opened at 6 p.m. Sunday night, and Chief Pat Moran and Capt. Allan Kane will both be on site. Residents in need of emergency assistance can call the Emergency Management number at 609-652-3700, ext. 206.
"We're doing the best we can, but this storm will be impacting all the states," Brandenberger said. "We're not going to have the resources we might normally have."
"It's a county-wide thing, so you have to rely on what you have in your own town," Moran said. That's the big difference with this storm. When it comes to getting back up and running, it's going to be difficult."
Following a conversation with Atlantic City Electric officials, Mayor Don Purdy said he believed there was a possibility electricity could be out for up to two weeks.
"We'll have people standing by locally," Purdy said. "This isn't like a normal storm."
Moran said the police department will handle as many emergency calls as possible, weather and availability permitting.
"Our officers are a dedicated group, and they're going to put forth the extra effort," Moran said.
Galloway Township residents were not asked to evacuate the area, but in the wake of the summer derecho, the township suffered from massive power outages.
Representatives from ShopRite on South Pitney Road and Super Foodtown said both their stores are stocked and will maintain regular business hours as long as possible. Both stores were low on bread Sunday afternoon, but a shipment of bread was on its way to ShopRite late Sunday afternoon.
"I've been in the stores and they've kept the shelves packed," Purdy said. "They're selling it, but they've also done a good job getting supplies in there.
"I would tell people to stay inside and don't drive. Our emergency personnel will not be out when the winds hit 40 miles an hour. That's set by the county."