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2 Jake Garzio Drive
Ewing, NJ 08628

Summer Weather Preparedness - Hurricanes

Get the tips you need to be prepared for hurricanes at ready.gov

It’s hurricane season again and Ewing Township encourages all residents to step up their readiness and be prepared with this updated reminder.   The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently updated their forecast for the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season and predicted an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season.

2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook

We need to be prepared for stronger, more erratic weather events.  According to the New Jersey Scientific Report on Climate Change published by the DEP last year, “the number of 3, 4, and 5 North Atlantic hurricanes has increased since 1951, most likely due to higher sea surface temperatures occurring in the region where Atlantic hurricanes form. Based on the fact that sea surface temperatures are expected to increase as a result of the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, future projected scenarios show a potential for hurricanes to become more intense as they move towards the east coast of the United States.” [1] 

Planning and preparation can make all the difference to your safety and recovery during times of perilous weather.  Plan now so that you will know what to do in the event of a hurricane. 

Hurricanes

The ideal time to prepare for a hurricane is when there is no hurricane…  PREPARE

  1. Make an emergency plan. gov has multiple resources to help you create your plan. These include everything from an Emergency Plan for Parents, to Emergency Plan for Kids, Emergency Plan for Commuters, Emergency Plan for Pets, Protecting Critical Documents and Valuables, to Documenting and Insuring Your Property.
  2. Sign up for alerts and warnings. Ewing Township publishes warnings via the Switft911 Notification SystemSign up now to ensure that you receive critical notifications as they are published.  NOAA Weather Radio also provides emergency alerts. 
  3. Create a disaster supplies kit including food and water, flashlights, batteries, chargers, cash and first aid supplies needed for at least three days. Don’t forget medications or the needs of pets. 
  4. Plan how you will assemble your family and loved ones, and anticipate where you will go for different situations. Get together with your family and agree on the ways to contact one another in an emergency, identify meeting locations, and make a Family Emergency Communication Plan.
  5. If a family member has medical disabilities and will need special assistance during an emergency, we encourage them to sign up for NJ Special Needs Registry. The “Register Ready” program allows NJ residents with disabilities to preregister so that emergency responders can better plan to serve them in a disaster or other emergency. 
    Ewing’s Fire Companies also maintain their own database of addresses/individuals that need special assistance evacuating.  Fill out their Emergency Information Request form and send it to  them to be included in their database and ensure that they are especially prepared to help you in the event of an emergency.  (This information is not publicly shared.) 
  6. Protect your property. Install sewer backflow valves, anchor fuel tanks, catalog belongings and review insurance policies. 
  7. Plan shelter options, especially if you are at risk for flash flooding,
  8. Know your evacuation route.

When a hurricane is on its way….  SURVIVE

  1. Stay informed with emergency notifications
  2. Protect your property. Clean out drains and gutters.  Put away outdoor furniture and other objects such as garbage cans that can become missiles and cause damage.  Anchor objects that would be unsafe to bring inside (propane tanks). 
  3. Turn on your TV or radio to receive the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  4. Make sure that you cell phone is fully charged. In the event of power outage, use it only as needed.  Don’t waste the charge!
  5. Make sure that the gas tank on your car is full and that it is in good working condition.
  6. Stock the car with your portable emergency kit and change of clothes.
  7. Make sure that you stock up on supplies for at least three days. It may be awhile until trucks delivering foodstuffs and other supplies can get through to the local markets.  Be sure to fill prescriptions for any needed medications.  Don’t forget your pets in this planning.
  8. Review your emergency procedures with family members. Plan ahead in case you need to evacuate.  Plan on what you will do in case you lose power. 
  9. Within the last 6 hours or so before the hurricane arrives, turn the refrigerator/freezer to the coldest settings and open only when necessary. If you lose power, the food will last longer.

When the hurricane is here… SURVIVE

  1. Follow directives from local authorities
  2. Don’t hesitate when advised to evacuate. Grab your Go Bag and go.
  3. High winds safety - Stay away from windows and seek shelter on the lowest level in an interior room.
  4. If you become trapped in a building by flooding, go to the highest level of that building. Do not climb into an enclosed attic.
  5. Use generators OUTDOORS only and away from windows.
  6. Can 9-1-1 if you are in life threatening danger.
  7. Never walk or drive thru flooded roads. The adage is: “Turn around, don’t drown.”
  8. Stay off bridges over fast-moving water.

Afterwards… BE SAFE

  1. Again, also listen to local authorities for information and special instructions. The hurricane may be over, but that doesn’t mean the danger is.
  2. Be careful during the clean-up. Wear protective clothing.  Do not work alone.
  3. Electrical equipment. Do not touch if it is wet or you are in standing water.  Turn off electricity at the main breaker or fuse box to prevent electric shock.
  4. Watch out for floating debris. Don’t wade in flood water. 
  5. Be aware that underground or downed power lines can also charge the water.
  6. Document property damage with photos. Contact your insurance company for instructions and assistance.
  7. If you lose power, save your phone calls for emergencies. Use text messages to communicate with family and friends. 

Each year, we witness the devastating impacts that hurricanes can cause. Hurricanes are not just a threat to coastal communities. High winds, heavy rainfall, tornadoes, and flooding can be felt hundreds of miles inland, potentially causing loss of life and catastrophic damage to property. As Hurricanes Sandy and Isaac remind us, it is not just major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher) that we need to worry about, but all hurricanes can cause significant damage.  We encourage you to prepare now for your safety during the 2019 Hurricane season.

NOAA 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook

Additional Resources

[1] https://www.nj.gov/dep/climatechange/docs/nj-scientific-report-2020.pdf#page=56

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