Plan Ahead for a More Active Hurricane Season in 2022
The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on June 1 each year, and forecasters are predicting an increased level of activity in 2022. Union County residents are advised to prepare ahead of time in case of high winds, heavy rain and power outages.
“The whole community is more secure and resilient when each one of us is prepared for hurricanes and other potentially damaging storms. Now is a good time to take stock of your emergency supplies and make sure you have a plan in place,” said Commissioner Chair Rebecca L. Williams.
Hurricanes are typically associated with southern regions, but hurricanes and their remnants often impact Union County and the surrounding area, including Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and Hurricane Ida last year.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, several factors are likely to contribute to increased hurricane activity this season, including the ongoing “La Niña” pattern, warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds and monsoon-driven waves that cross the Atlantic.
Update: The peak of hurricane season is August through October. Follow the steps below to prepare ahead:
1. Be Informed
Sign up online for UC First Alert by visiting ucfirstalert.org. This free service will enable you to receive emergency updates by text or email on your mobile devices.
Keep up with local news reports by tuning in to your radio, television, or online weather reports.
Residents with special needs and their families should sign up for NJ Register Ready, a state initiative that helps to identify people who may need additional assistance.
2. Emergency Supply Kit
Keep enough supplies in your home to survive on your own, or shelter in place, for at least three days.
Store them in a cupboard or container that you can find easily, even in the dark.
- One gallon of drinking water per person per day
- Non-perishable, ready-to-eat canned foods and manual can opener
- First aid kit
- Battery-operated AM/FM radio and extra batteries (you can also buy wind-up radios that do not require batteries)
- Iodine tablets or one quart of unscented bleach (for disinfecting water ONLY if directed to do so by health officials) and eyedropper (for adding bleach to water)
- Personal hygiene items: soap, feminine hygiene products, toothbrush and toothpaste, etc.
- Phone that does not rely on electricity
- Child care supplies or other special care items
Pet owners should have leashes, carriers and other equipment handy, in addition to food and water for their pets.
3. Go Bag
A Go Bag is a collection of items you may need in the event of an evacuation. It should be packed in a sturdy, easy-to-carry container such as a backpack or suitcase on wheels.
A Go Bag should be easily accessible if you have to leave your home in a hurry.
- Copies of your important documents in a waterproof and portable container (insurance cards, photo IDs, proof of address, etc.)
- Extra set of car and house keys
- Credit and ATM cards and cash, especially in small denominations. We recommend you keep at least $50-$100 on hand.
- Bottled water and non-perishable food such as energy or granola bars
- Battery-operated AM/FM radio and extra batteries
- Keep a list of the medications each member of your household takes, why they take them, and their dosages. Medication information and other essential personal items. If you store extra medication in your Go Bag, be sure to refill it before it expires.
- First-aid kit
- Contact and meeting place information for your household, and a small regional map
- Child care supplies or other special care items
- Veterinary information for pets, if needed.
4. Household Disaster Plan
Develop a plan for your household that spells out what to do, how to find each other, and how to communicate in an emergency.
- Decide where your household will reunite after a disaster. Identify two places to meet: one right outside your home and another outside your neighborhood, such as a library, community center, or place of worship.
- Identify all possible exit routes from your home and neighborhood.
- Designate an out-of-state friend or relative that household members can call if separated during a disaster. If New Jersey phone circuits are busy, long-distance calls may be easier to make. This out-of-state contact can help you communication with others.
- Account for everybody’s needs, especially seniors, people with disabilities, and non-English speakers.
- Ensure that household members have a copy of your household disaster plan and emergency contact information to keep in their wallets and backpacks.
- Practice your plan with all household members.
- Include pets in your practice sessions.
Visit ready.gov for more information.
5. Be Involved
By taking some simple steps, you can help your community prepare for and recover from weather emergencies and other disasters:
- For hurricanes and other wind events, make sure that trash cans, lawn furniture and other loose items in your yard are secured or put away.
- Car owners should top off their tanks well in advance of a severe storm, and avoid unnecessary travel when emergency officials request help in keeping roads clear.
- When using a generator, read instructions carefully. Generators must be placed at least 25 feet away from open windows, and never placed in a basement or garage. Potentially fatal carbon monoxide poisoning will result from improperly placed generators.
- Pet owners should keep leashes, carriers and other equipment handy in case of an evacuation. Please be aware that most emergency shelters cannot accommodate pets.
Join the Union County Medical Reserve Corps: Residents with medical, clerical and many other skills can serve as volunteers in the Union County Medical Reserve Corps.
Professional experience in health care is not required. Along with disaster relief, Medical Reserve Corps volunteers provide ongoing community services, like promoting emergency preparedness at health fairs, performing blood pressure screenings at community events, and running flu clinics.
For more information about the Medical Reserve Corps, visit https://njmrc.nj.gov or contact the Union County MRC Unit Coordinator, Lovely Randle, at 908-518-5631.
6. Be Ready
Visit Ready.gov for more details and guidance on emergency preparedness from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.