NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Last October, a total of 24 states were rocked by the Category 3 Hurricane Sandy. Of course, New Jersey and New York were two of hardest hit.
A year earlier, in August 2011, Hurricane Irene made its way up the eastern seaboard, slamming New Jersey as a Tropical Storm.
Both times, areas near Route 18 and the intersection of Joyce Kilmer Av. and Charles St. sufferred heavy flooding, and power outages caused problems citywide. Sandy caused atleast $29.4 billion worth of damage in New Jersey alone.
Now, having escaped Hurricane Season unscathed, New Jerseyans will have to prepare for the potential winter storms that may impact the area. And both preparation and communication can be key to surviving storms, according to county officials.
Middlesex County OEM Director, John Ferguson said, "Middlesex County Office of Emergency Management as well as Middlesex County as a whole are preparing ahead of time. It is just a matter of time until the next hurricane hits. Two reliable sources of information are FEMA's website and ready.nj.gov."
County officials are urging residents to ask themselves the following questions: Are you prepared for flooding? Are you prepared for power outages? Do you have somewhere safe to stay?
Though things may be somewhat different during snowstorms, much of the county's hurricane preparedness information is still relevant. The county's Office of Emergency Management asks residents to take these basic steps:
Before the Hurricane Starts:
When a Hurricane Watch is issued:
When a Hurricane Warning is issued:
Assemble your Disaster Supply Kit.
These items are often scattered
around your home and simply need to
be brought together into one location.
Check your Disaster Supply Kit.
Make sure nothing is missing
Determine if there is anything you
need to supplement your kit.
Replenish your water.
Ready your Disaster Supply Kit for
If you need to evacuate, you should
bring your Supply Kit with you.
Write out your Family Disaster Plan.
Discuss the possible hazards with your family. Determine if you are in an evacuation area. Identify an out-of-town family contact.
Activate your Family Disaster Plan.
Protective measures should be initiated, especially those actions that require extra time (for example,
securing a boat or leaving a barrier island).
Use your Family Disaster Plan.
Your family should be in the process of completing protective actions and deciding the safest location to be
during the storm.
Make sure your emergency supply kits and Go Bags are ready to go with supplies like water, non-perishable food, a first aid kit, flashlights, a battery-operated radio, and extra batteries.
Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare. Plan ahead and be ahead of the storm.
You can receive emergency text messages and email alerts from the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management log on to ready.nj.gov and follow the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management on Twitter> and Facebook.