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Plan & Prepare

Family Preparedness: Hurricanes:
What To Do When a Hurricane or Tropical Storm is Approaching

1. Pay Close Attention To Weather Forecasts

If a hurricane is possible, pay close attention to weather forecasts on local TV and radio stations and these SOURCES for New Jersey residents.

These forecasts also allow public safety officials to make faster decisions about moving people to safety through evacuations or by providing other instructions.


2. Listen For Official Instructions

Follow official instructions IMMEDIATELY when they are announced.
Official instructions will be broadcast on local TV and radio stations. You may receive information about your specific location in the following ways:

  • Reverse 9-1-1 or other community notification systems in your area.
  • Public safety officers may announce the orders by driving through neighborhoods with bullhorns.
  • You may also get instructions from local officials via their social media accounts and other digital methods messages that can be sent to your wireless phone. Our Staying Informed web page will provide more information about this.

3. While You Are Waiting To Receive Official Instructions

If a Hurricane or Tropical Storm is approaching but you have not received official instructions to Shelter-in-Place or Evacuate, take the following steps:

  • Check your Emergency Supply Kit
    • Batteries and plans to power phones, devices or medical technology if the power goes out.
    • Two weeks supply of prescription medicines or other special supplies.
    • Storing important documents in a waterproof container and in a safe location.
  • Be prepared to Evacuate
  • Prepare your Home and Property (NOTE: page on protecting home focuses on activities that require longer lead time)
    • Bring inside lawn furniture, toys and tools. Anchor objects that remain outside.
    • Close and board up windows.
    • Either securely moor any boats or move to safe locations.
    • For advance preparations to strengthen your home before the next storm.
  • Mobile Home precautions
  • Know how to Shelter-in-Place
    • Stay off the road so that roads are as clear as possible for people who have been ordered to evacuate and for public safety officials.
  • Continue to monitor local TV and radio stations for weather information.
  • Stay inside and away from windows.
  • Keep your flashlights handy in case the power goes out.
  • If power goes out, turn off all major appliances to avoid power surge damage when electricity returns.
  • Be prepared to evacuate immediately if orders are issued for your neighborhood.

Evacuation Orders: Mandatory Vs. Voluntary

Take all evacuation orders seriously and act immediately. Be sure to share evacuation information with family and friends and encourage others to evacuate if directed to do so. Offer assistance to those who may need it.

Emergency Management officials in New Jersey have the authority to:

  • Direct voluntary evacuations or
  • Order mandatory evacuations.

You can be fined or imprisoned for failing to follow a mandatory evacuation order.
You endanger yourself, your family and first responders if you fail to follow a mandatory evacuation order. You will most likely be stranded for an extended period of time withoutaccess to food, water or basic services.

Remember: If you New Jersey resident on a barrier island, a coastal community, a flood-prone area or a mobile home park, you are at much greater risk during hurricane or tropical storm events. You will likely be the first to receive an evacuation order when these storms are approaching New Jersey. Plan accordingly.

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New Jersey Office of Emergency Management
P. O. Box 7068
Trenton, NJ 08628


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