It’s Hurricane Season – Plan Ahead for Safety

By: Scott A. Skrivanek, MA, NRP

Hurricane season has begun and runs through the end of October, long-range forecasters have issued a prediction on how many storms are likely to develop in the Atlantic Ocean this year.  Experts are expecting 14 named storms – two more than the yearly average and three more than formed in the Atlantic in 2015. Of those 14, eight are likely to be hurricanes and six tropical storms.  Like long-range forecasters, New Jersey residents can best prepare to weather the storms by planning early.

What You Can Do Now

  • Tap Into Social Media. “Like” the NJ Office of Emergency Management (NJOEM) on Facebook and follow it on Twitter. Be sure to set up for Twitter Alerts at the NJOEM account set-up page to receive a direct notification to your phone whenever NJOEM issues an alert.
  • Reverse 9-1-1. Find out if your community has a “reverse 911” system or if you can opt-in for email updates from municipal officials.
  • Find out if you are in a high risk area, and plan accordingly
  • Learn what to do if you live in a high-rise building
  • Know how you will evacuate
  • Learn what it means to Shelter in Place
  • Have a plan for your pet, as many shelters do not allow pets, only service animals
  • If your town or county participates, sign up for emergency alerts on your cell phone at

What To Do When A Hurricane Is 36 Hours From Arriving

  • Turn on your TV or radio in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Plan how to communicate with family members if you lose power. For example, you can call, text, email or use social media. Remember that during disasters, sending text messages is usually reliable and faster than making phone calls because phone lines are often overloaded.
  • Review your evacuation plan with your family. You may have to leave quickly so plan ahead. Know at least two ways to evacuate your home and your immediate area/community.
  • Keep your car in good working condition, and keep the gas tank full
  • Stock your vehicle with emergency supplies and a change of clothes.

For more information, visit


Scott A. Skrivanek, MA, NRP, is the Life Safety & Emergency Management Coordinator at Raritan Bay Medical Center, a member of the Meridian Health family. 

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