Camden County Health Department issues “Code Blue”

Camden County Health Department Issues

Camden County Health Department Issues &Quot;Code Blue&Quot;(Gloucester Township, NJ) – Camden County Department of Health and Human Services Liaison Commissioner Virginia Betteridge advises municipalities that the area will be under a Code Blue Advisory from Tuesday evening through Sunday morning.

Health officials have issued a Code Blue advisory for Camden County, which will be in effect from 7 pm to 7 am beginning December 19 through the morning of December 24. Temperatures will drop to 27 degrees during Code Blue. Please note that the new after-hours code blue emergency hotline is 2-1-1.

“It’s important that everyone stays inside and away from these dangerous elements,” Betteridge said. “It is also important that our elderly residents and people with disabilities have heat in working order and that all pets are brought indoors.”

When the Camden County Health Officer declares a Code Blue Weather Advisory, municipalities with homeless populations, situationally homeless or transient populations are expected to activate their Code Blue response plan to accommodate their immediate needs.

“If you know anyone who is elderly or disabled, please check on them to make sure they are prepared to stay safe in these dangerous temperatures,” Betteridge said.

With a large portion of households in Camden County owning a cat or dog, Betteridge wants to make sure all pets are staying safe even during these extreme temperatures.

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Here are some cold weather tips from Commissioner Betteridge to keep your pet safe:

  • When the thermometer drops below 32 degrees, keep your pet indoors as much as possible. If your pet must remain outside, provide a warm shelter a few inches above the ground, with the opening facing away from the wind and covered with a burlap or plastic flap. The shelter should be large enough for the animal to stand and turn around, but small enough to retain its body heat.

  • If your pet remains outside for long periods of time when the temperature is below zero (32 degrees), be alert for signs of distress from the cold. Like people, shivering is a sign that the body temperature is falling. If you notice your pet shivering, it’s probably time to bring him inside. Remember, your pet’s body temperature ranges from 101-102 degrees and his body temperature drops rapidly in cold weather.

  • Very young, very old pets or pets with any health problems are more sensitive to the cold.
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  • An animal with thick fur can tolerate cold longer than an animal with short hair.

  • Do not leave your pet in an unheated vehicle for long periods of time.

  • Make sure your pet has access to clean, unfrozen drinking water. Don’t let your pet drink from puddles that may contain deadly antifreeze or other harmful chemicals.

  • A pet can pick up rock salt, ice and other melting chemicals in the pads of its feet. This may harm your pet. Massaging petroleum jelly into the paw pads before going outside helps protect against salt and chemical agents. Moisturizing after toweling thoroughly helps in healing cracked toes. To prevent damage to your pet’s pads, wipe his feet with a damp cloth when he comes inside. If this is a problem for your pet, shoes are available in all sizes. Your dog can become accustomed to wearing shoes indoors for a short period of time. Not all dogs take to them.

  • If there are outdoor cats in the neighborhood, knock on the hood of your vehicle and look under it before starting the engine and driving away. When cats are left out in the cold they will sometimes lurk near or under a hot engine.
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  • Antifreeze has an attractive smell and taste to animals and is extremely poisonous! Be especially cautious about ingesting antifreeze. The first sign of antifreeze poisoning is a pet who appears intoxicated. If you suspect you pet has swallowed antifreeze take it to the vet immediately as it can be fatal within four
    Up to eight hours after consumption.

The Camden County Health Department and Office of Emergency Management have worked with each municipality to ensure they have the appropriate resources to respond to these severe weather conditions as part of their individual Code Blue plans. Each municipality has identified its own space to accommodate people in its community seeking shelter from severe weather.

Persons seeking shelter in a warming center should contact their local municipality. Additional resources are available by calling the Camden County Department of Health and Human Services at (800) 999-9045 or visiting

In the event of a power outage, please report it directly to the appropriate utility provider listed below: