LINCROFT, N.J. -- With another hurricane season just getting under way, residents of New Jersey may look upon the prospect of another storm with a great deal more apprehension than they felt before Hurricane Sandy struck the Jersey coast.
New Jersey residents have witnessed firsthand the destructive power of a storm like Sandy.
Sandy was not the first storm to wreak havoc in New Jersey, but she was one of the most powerful to strike the state in many decades, and the damage she inflicted was widespread.
Today, more than 18 months after the storm, New Jerseyans are still recovering. The good news is that they are rebuilding stronger, safer and smarter.
Up and down the New Jersey coast, towns are engaged in restoring infrastructure and taking steps to ensure that their communities will never again be caught in the bull’s eye of a hurricane without preparation.
Hundreds of homes along the Jersey Shore have been elevated. Many municipalities have moved critical facilities away from areas vulnerable to flooding.
Thanks to extensive outreach efforts by FEMA and the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management, residents and business owners are far better informed about how to plan for, protect against, and recover from storms and other possible disasters than ever before.
Weather experts are predicting a less active hurricane season on the Atlantic Coast than in recent years due to the fact that water temperatures are projected to be cooler than they have been under the influence of El Nino.
While a storm of the magnitude of Sandy may not occur again for many years, it is always a good idea to prepare for the possibility that a storm or other disaster may interrupt the usual summer cycles of rainy and sunny days and present the state with a major weather challenge.
If that occurs, it’s up to each of us to be ready to respond effectively.
That means using the tools of preparedness that can mean the difference between life and death, danger and safety, when a storm arrives.
Perhaps the most important thing you can do is create a family communications plan. Make cards for each family member with names and contact numbers. Have a contact in another state, or at least another town, that family members can get in touch with, as making a long-distance call or even sending a text message may be easier than a local call during a disaster.
Know how to get to higher ground if you need to evacuate, what your community’s evacuation route is, and where it goes. New Jersey has several state roads, U.S. highways and interstates designated as state coastal evacuation routes along with county and local routes.
You also want to know just how vulnerable your home and property are to flooding. Learn the elevation level of your property and whether there are any levees or dams in the area that might pose a flood threat.
Secure your home’s windows, roof, and garage. Permanent storm shutters are best for windows, but plywood five-eighths of an inch thick and cut to fit is an effective temporary solution and will also work on windowed garage doors. Secure the roof to the frame of the house by adding straps or additional clamps, and while you’re up there, make sure the gutters are clear.
Keep any trees and shrubs around your home trimmed to improve their wind resistance. Bring in outdoor furniture, decorations, plants in stands, and anything else outside that isn’t nailed down. If you own a boat, decide ahead of time where and how you plan to secure it.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
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