Plan & Prepare
Family Preparedness: Hurricanes and Tropical Storms
Read This Page First!
Hurricanes And Tropical Storm Forecast - National Hurricane Center
New Jersey Specific Weather Forecasts, Watches And Warnings
For Preparedness Info specific to your county: http://ready.nj.gov/about/association.html
- What to do NOW, before a Hurricane or Tropical Storm
- What to do when a storm is APPROACHING
- Pay Attention To Weather Forecasts
- Listen For Official Instructions
- While You Are Waiting to Receive Official Instructions
- Evacuation Orders : Mandatory vs. Voluntary
- What to do AFTER the storm passes
- Returning Home After The Storm
NJOEM 2012 Hurricane Season Radio Advertising Campaign
(MP3 - Audio)
Track The Weather And Maintain Awareness About The Event
Track color-coded maps with New Jersey’s real-time NWS weather
forecasts, shore, tidal and river information:
Track current Tropical Storm and Hurricane activity in the Atlantic Ocean,
Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, with NWS/National Hurricane Center’s
Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or a local news source for
weather information and for instructions from public safety officials.
Remember: A battery-powered radio is a vital part of your Emergency
Supply Kit (pdf).
Ways To Receive Emergency Information
- Social Media – Social media and other advanced communications technologies are used by the NJOEM and emergency managers statewide. Find out if your
community has a "reverse 9-1-1" system or if you can opt-in for email updates from municipal officials. "Like" the NJOEM on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.
- Nixle - Nixle Connect is an application that allows the NJ State Police and the NJOEM to communicate with the public via text/SMS, e-mail,
and Internet posts. Register to receive messages by sending a text message with their zip code to 888777 (data rates may apply depending on your plan).
Online registration is also available at www.nixle.com.
- NJ Alert - NJ Alert is a free, voluntary and confidential emergency alerting system that allows NJ Office of Emergency Management officials to
send E-mail or text messages to cell phones and other email enabled devices during an emergency event. Sign up for NJ Alert by logging on to:
- NOAA Weather Radio - is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information directly from the nearest National
Weather Service Office. NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts official Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day,
7 days a week. NOAA Weather Radios are typically inexpensive, easily available in stores and can often be programmed for your specific area.
- Traditional Media – Continue to monitor traditional media sources – TV, newspapers and radio – to stay informed of breaking news and continued coverage of emergency events.
- Cellular Mobile Emergency Alert System (CMAS) - The National Weather Service (NWS), in partnership with FEMA and FCC, will be sending selected NWS
weather warnings out that are Common Alert Protocol (CAP) compliant. What this means is that Commercial Mobile Cell Phone providers (e.g., Verizon, AT&T, Sprint)
will be able to, and also required to, send selected NWS weather warnings out to all customers in the affected county(ies).
This system is known as the Commercial Mobile Alerting System (CMAS). The message is not an SMS message and does not cost the customer anything. The
messages will be blasted out from affected cell towers down to the county level. The NWS warning messages will be short (90 characters or less) and
direct users to other information sources for additional information on the selected hazard.
Initially, the NWS Warnings will be related to: Tornado Warnings, Flash Flood Warnings Hurricane Warnings, Extreme
Wind Warnings (for at least Category 3 hurricane force winds) Blizzard Warnings, Ice Storm Warnings and Tsunami Warnings.
A NWS warning means the hazard is imminent.
For more CMAS info:
FCC CMAS Page - http://www.fcc.gov/guides/commercial-mobile-alert-system-cmas
Hurricanes And Tropical Storms: The Dangers
The key threats from an approaching Tropical Storm or Hurricane are WIND, STORM
SURGE, FLOODING, and the potential for TORNADOES.
- Hurricane WINDS can reach 74-95 mph for a Category 1
storm, to above 155 mph for a Category 5 storm.
- The STORM SURGE is a dome of ocean water the hurricane
pushes ahead of itself. At its peak a storm surge can be 25 feet
high and 50-100 miles wide. The storm surge can devastate coastal
communities as it sweeps ashore.
- The thunderstorms and torrential rains that accompany a hurricane
can create dangerous and deadly FLOODS or FLASHFLOODS.
- Seventy percent of hurricanes making landfall spawn at least
Hurricane Season: The Facts
Hurricane season normally runs from June 1 through November
30 – or even beyond, as the world saw during the record-setting
2005 season. The peak potential for Hurricane and Tropical Storm
activity in New Jersey runs from mid-August through the end
The combination of warm ocean water, humid air and consistent
winds contributes to the formation of “tropical
cyclones” – low-pressure systems of circulating
winds, clouds and thunderstorms – over the Atlantic
Ocean , Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico .
As they gain strength, these cyclones are classified as Tropical
Depressions, Tropical Storms or Hurricanes.
The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale rates
Hurricane strengths, from Category 1 to Category 5.
Most of these storms remain over the ocean without affecting
the U.S. coastline.
When they approach land, Tropical Storms and Hurricanes
can be extremely deadly and destructive – even
as far north as New Jersey , and even when they do not make
landfall here. For example:
- Hurricane Ivan made landfall on the barrier islands
of Alabama on September 16, 2004 . The storm
was downgraded to Tropical Depression Ivan by the
time it reached the Delmarva Peninsula and caused up to six
inches of rain in parts of New Jersey . Ivan caused significant
property damage in communities along the Delaware River
- Hurricane Isabel made landfall on the Outer Banks
of North Carolina on September 18, 2003 . Isabel
produced stormsurges of 2-4 feet above normal
tide levels along Maryland , Delaware and New Jersey
shorelines. Of the 16 deaths directly attributed
to Isabel, one was in New Jersey . Isabel
caused significant property damage in Central New
- Tropical Storm Floyd skirted the New Jersey Coast on September
16, 1999 . The storm deluged the Garden State with up to 14
inches of rain. Of the 57 deaths directly attributed
to Floyd, six were in New Jersey . Floyd caused widespread
property damage across the entire Garden State .
- Tropical Storm Irene was the costliest natural disaster in New Jersey's history. It impacted the State on August 25, 2012.
Individuals received over $175 Million in FEMA Individual Assistance. Assistance to public entities have totaled over $75 million so far.
Utility Company Links
NJ Board of Public Utilities Webpage: http://www.state.nj.us/bpu/assistance/utility/
IMPORTANT: If your power is out, you MUST report it to your utility company. Do not assume the utility company is aware that your residence is out, just because
your neighbors have called in the outage, or because your neighborhood is without power.
Additional tips for surviving a power outage: http://ready.nj.gov/plan/blackout.html
Center for Disease Control - general information, food and water safety, worker safety:
American Red Cross Checklist:
For people with disabilities who are electric dependent: http://www.jik.com/d-handouts.html
Follow these Links for
much more information on preparedness and on the science
of Hurricanes, Tropical Storms and Tropical Depressions.