Hurricane Preparedness

Hurricane Hazards

STORM SURGE - A hurricane can produce destructive storm surge, which is water that is pushed toward the shore by the force of the winds swirling around the storm. This advancing surge combines with the normal tides to create the hurricane storm tide, which can increase the mean water level 15 feet or more.

INLAND FLOODING - When a hurricane moves inland and causes excessive rain to fall, flooding rivers, lakes and streams.

HIGH WINDS - Hurricane-force winds can destroy poorly constructed buildings and mobile homes. Debris such as signs, roofing material, and small items left outside become flying missiles in hurricanes.

TORNADOES - Hurricanes can produce tornadoes that add to the storm’s destructive power. Tornadoes are most likely to occur in the right-front quadrant of the hurricane.


HURRICANE WATCH - Hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area. The hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

HURRICANE WARNING - Hurricane conditions are expected within the warning area. The hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

Pet Preparedness

Include pets in your plans and have a safe place to take them, especially in case of an evacuation. During an evacuation, American Red Cross disaster shelters cannot accept pets. Service animals who assist people with disabilities are the only animals allowed in Red Cross shelters. Keep a list of pet-friendly places, including phone numbers, with your other disaster supplies.

Access & Functional Needs

During an event it is important to consider the independence, communication, supervision, and medical care of those in need. The following links will provide more information.

Protective Actions

  1. Get a Kit of emergency Supplies
  2. Make a Plan of what to do during an emergency
  3. Stay Informed of possible threats

EVACUATION - Your local, county or State emergency management officials will notify your neighborhood of the need to evacuate or take other protective actions. This can be done several ways: 1) via Emergency Alert System messages on local radio and TV; 2) alerting entire areas via community notification systems such as “Reverse 911,” which sends messages to home telephones; 3) sending Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) text messages through mobile phones which shows the type and time of the alert, any action you should take, and the agency issuing the alert. Any and all of these alerts may be used.

NJ Hurricane Evacuation Study [pdf - 48MB] State Coastal Evacuation Routes [pdf - 4.27MB]
State Roads Slosh Map [pdf - 5.68MB] Hurricane Tracking Map [pdf - 393kb]

SHELTERING IN PLACE - Remaining in your home or workplace and protecting yourself there.

Government Resources

When Disaster Strikes: Managing Municipal Response Operations

Disaster Recovery: A Guide for Municipal Officials
“A municipal government’s ability to access federal disaster relief programs quickly, efficiently and appropriately can limit disaster-related losses, lessen financial and psychological impact for community members, and enhance a community’s ability to survive – and eventually thrive – in a disaster’s wake.”

Local Emergency Planning Committees Enhance Local Disaster Plans, Resources

A Guide for Local Officials - pdf from Citizens Corps