According to the Hurricaneville website, a site established to help distribute hurricane tracking information and assistance, New Jersey is a place where the untimely arrival of a hurricane could prove disastrous. The weather history along the Jersey Shore, New Jersey is of many missed hits. Each year storms come up the Atlantic Coast, the alarm is put out only to be taken down as yet another storm passes by without delivering a knock out blow to the Jersey Shore, New Jersey.
The problem is that the lack of a direct hit has made far too many people in New Jersey complacent about hurricane preparedness. The danger this complacency overlooks is multiplied by the fact that New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the nation and the amount of building on what could be a vulnerable coast continues to increase. Large numbers of people and millions of dollars of property are sitting in potential disaster areas. The New Jersey Office of Emergency Management has prepared a basic three step program to help individuals become better prepared for the storm everyone hopes will never come.
Step One: The Kit
According to the Office of Emergency Management for New Jersey the best first step to hurricane preparation is acting to put together a survival kit for your family. Food and water of course are of prime importance. the OEM of New Jersey suggests a three day supply of both. It notes that food in your survival kit should be non-perishable and of the ready to eat variety as power to cook may be lost. The 3 day water supply translates to 3 gallons of water for each person in your family.
Besides food and water, your survival kit should include things that can help you when power is lost. These certainly would include flashlights and a battery operated radio. Making sure to lay in extra batteries can be key as power outages can last for prolonged periods of time and it will be important for you to be able to use your radio to connect with those giving out emergency instructions.
Health concerns need to be addressed as you prepare your survival kit. If anyone in your family is on prescription drugs the OEM for New Jersey encourages you to include in your kit a week’s supply of all prescription drugs, it may be that long before you can access a pharmacy. Personal toiletries should also be included with reference to any specific needs of family members.
Finally, your survival kit is incomplete unless you have given consideration to the need for some business items. Make sure you have an adequate supply of cash or travelers checks tucked away. ATM’s will be down if power is down and you may have occasion to need cash. Copies of all important business documents is also important, these items should be secured in a waterproof container and clearly marked .
Instructions should be shared with all family members about he need for everyone to carry the contact phone number of one out of state relative who can serve as the families contact person. Should family members become separated they will all have the same point of reference to help reunite them. The OEM also suggests having at least a half gallon of gas in your car.
Step Two: The Plan.
Having gathered together the basic things you will need to survive in a hurricane situation is only part of getting ready . The family needs to gather together and make a plan for their survival. This should begin with a consideration of the land area where you live. You must determine if you are in a high risk area or not and proceed with your planning accordingly. If it is highly likely that you will need to evacuate then extra attention will be needed for evacuation planning.
Most good hurricane survival plans begin with the Red Cross Family Emergency Plan. Basically this includes making sure everyone in your family knows how to proceed in the case of a hurricane. Among the things the family should decide is where they will go if their house is threatened by the storm and how they will proceed in order to achieve their goal. All members should also know who their family’s contact person is and carry contact information with them. All family emergency plans should take into consideration the special needs of family members such as the elderly, infants, those with disabilities and family pets.
Beyond these suggestions by the American Red Cross, the OEM for New Jersey further suggests that those who have a disability should protect themselves prior to a storm by registering with the local police department and informing them of any assistance you might need in order to evacuate your home.
If your family has no car, it is also very important to ask your county OEM or local police for evacuation plans which they may have for “transit dependent” residence.
Pets are members of your family but they will not be welcomed or permitted in public shelter areas. That means that you must survey other possibilities for sheltering your pet in case of a hurricane. You cannot wait until the storm is upon you to begin to consider the possibilities. When the threat of a storm is announced that is the time to prepare your actions to get your pet to an animal shelter, vets, or family friend away from the storm area who will look after you pet until after the threat has passed.
Step Three: Stay Informed:
Just because there is no recent record of a major hurricane hit on the Jersey Shore, residents should not expect that there never will be one. New Jersey could just be living on borrowed time. According to the Hurricaneville Website, folks on the Jersey Shore, New Jersey, need to rethink their complacency and stay on the look out for potential hurricanes
If storms are coming out of the South and moving along the Atlantic seaboard, Jersey Shore residents need to stay tuned in to the Weather Channel and their local weather stations to mark the direction and progress of the storm. Hurricanes are highly volatile weather patterns subject to change. That makes it important if a storm is coming north to stay informed and respond as needed according to the perceived threat.
Thanks to the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management, Jersey Shore residents now have a workable approach for preparing for a hurricane should it strike their coast.