This nor'easter is wreaking havoc on my neighborhood and my property, as it is for many New Jerseyans. But it's also presented a dilemma to me that is bothersome and kind of irritating. It's a responsibility that I had no choice about taking on. It just sort of happened to me.

You see, I noticed many of my possessions blowing around my property late yesterday afternoon, so of course I made the necessary arrangements to protect my stuff. I tied things up, I stabilized some trees around my property (ones that tend to be weak), I brought some chairs in from outside and basically protected anything that I thought was light enough to blow away.

But still, some damage was done. Stuff that I never considered — like a drain pipe being blown off my house and flung into the inside of my garage door causing a little bit of damage.

The thing that I didn't count on was the distance that the neighborhood garbage cans would travel.

Our garbage is picked up on Monday and our town does not provide those nifty heavy-duty garbage cans for us. Rather, we buy our own and some of them are the Rubbermaid type that aren't that heavy at all. I peeked out my window and saw a lot of the neighbors' garbage cans scattered in the streets, and just about to make their way into cars that were driving down the adjacent street. I ran out and collected all the neighbors garbage cans and placed them in my garage for safekeeping.

The only thing I didn't realize is that they all look similar and I'm not exactly sure which are mine.

Now begins the painstaking work of determining which garbage can is whose, contacting those neighbors and informing them that I am holding their garbage cans hostage. I certainly want to let them know before they incorrectly assume that they've got to go out and buy new ones!

But I thought that I would just post a photo of my little neighborhood garbage can collection (look closely and you can see the damage to my garage door, too). And if you think I have yours, come claim it!!! You know where I live.

NJ 101.5's guide to the storm

ON THE RADIO: Listen to New Jersey 101.5 anytime on air, online or on your phone by downloading the New Jersey 101.5 app. (In addition to weather and news updates, we’ll be playing music all weekend)

SOCIAL: Follow New Jersey 101.5 on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Message us with questions and what you’re experiencing where you are. We’d love to see your pictures of the snow!

WEATHER: Keep an eye on Dan Zarrow’s blog. Unlike some weather forecasters, Dan’s now about to hype news he’s not sure of. He’ll tell you what he knows, what he does’t, and why — there’s no better way to keep on top of the storm as it develops.

TRAFFIC AND ROADS: Visit for current alerts, and download the New Jersey 101.5 app to get notifications as traffic issues pop up. The New Jersey Department of Transportation issues alerts through

MASS TRANSIT: NJ Transit issues advisories at and on Twitter @NJTransit. (New Jersey 101.5 will also share news of alerts on TwitterFacebook and the New Jersey 101.5 app as well)

POWER: PSE&G customers: See PSE&G’s power map for outages and report downed trees, gas leaks, other emergencies or outages to 800-436-PSEG. JCP&L customers: See JCP&L’s map for outages. Call in issues to 888-LIGHTSS or report your outage online. Atlantic City Electric customers: See Atlantic City Electric’s map or call 800-833-7476 for any issues.

SCHOOL CLOSINGS: Announcements are updated in real-time at Are you a school official? You can register your district at the link as well.

STATE EMERGENCY ALERTS: The state Office of Emergency Management issues alerts on Facebook and Twitter.

COMMUNITY ALERTS: Many New Jersey towns use the Nixle system to send alerts. Many others use Everbridge. Check those services and your municipal website for more information.

USING A GENERATOR? Here’s how to keep safe. Carbon monoxide poisoning caused five New Jersey deaths in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at

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