NJDEP | Press release | NJOEM and NJDEP mark Hurricane Preparedness Month by urging the public to plan for increased storm threats caused by climate change

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Contact: Lawrence Hajna, NJDEP, 609-984-1795
sergeant. Joseph Walsh #7266, NJOEM (609) 963-6900 ext. 6827

TRENTON – As the state marks Hurricane Preparedness Month and the peak of hurricane season, New Jersey State Police Superintendent and State Emergency Management Director Patrick J Callahan, and New Jersey Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette today reminded the public of the vital importance of preparing as the risks from these powerful storms increase due to the climate change.

“As we approach the 10th anniversary of Super Hurricane Sandy and hurricane season begins, it’s important to remember that preparedness is everyone’s responsibility, including those with special needs,” said Colonel Callahan. “Please take time with your family and loved ones to assess your current preparedness plans, whether you need to shelter in place or evacuate. You can start by putting together an emergency kit, preparing a family bag and creating a crisis communication plan. Now is the time to prepare. »

“We are so lucky to live in a coastal state with many miles of beautiful beaches and rivers to enjoy,” said Commissioner LaTourette. “But we must not believe for a second that rebuilding beaches and building seawalls and dykes will shield us from all eventualities that climate change may throw at us. Weather events are becoming more extreme and unpredictable. Each of us must become smarter about the growing risks of climate change and take the necessary steps to better protect ourselves and each other.

To be better prepared for impending weather emergencies, the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management recommends the following:

  • Sign up for emergency alerts: Connect, log in, subscribe, “like” or “follow” state, county, local and federal agencies for credible disaster information such as alerts and warnings, updates up to date on the situation and where to find help. Registration information is available at https://nj.gov/njoem/

  • Register ready: RegisterReady.nj.gov, the New Jersey Disaster Special Needs Registry provides New Jersey residents with disabilities, access and functional needs and their families, friends and associates the opportunity to provide information to disaster response agencies. emergency. This helps emergency responders better plan their response to a disaster or other emergency. The information collected here is confidential and will not be accessible to the public. The information will be kept secure and used only for emergency response and planning.

  • Prepare an emergency kit: The emergency kits will allow individuals and families to survive several days without access to food, water or electricity. Emergency kits should include at least a 3-5 day supply of non-perishable food and water, prescription medication for up to two weeks if available, baby supplies, pet supplies, and any items extra for special medical needs such as an extra pair of glasses and hearing aid batteries. Your kit should include important phone numbers for doctors as well as cell phone car chargers.

  • Make a family go-bag: While you’re gathering your emergency kit, prepare a travel bag for your family. This can be a duffle bag or duffel bag that is easily accessible so you can grab it and go in case of an emergency evacuation order. These bags should contain items such as prescription drugs, food, water, extra clothing, and copies of important documents and phone numbers to get you through the critical first few days. For more information on how to put together a family emergency kit, visit ready.nj.gov/plan-prepare/your-kit-plan.shtml

  • Make an emergency plan: Make plans with your family and friends in case you are not together when any type of emergency – natural, technological or man-made – occurs. Discuss how you will contact each other, where you will meet, and what you will do in different situations. Familiarize yourself with the evacuation routes in your city. For more information on how to put together a family emergency plan, visit ready.nj.gov/plan-prepare/your-kit-plan.shtml. Pets are also family. Be sure to include them in your emergency plans by visiting animalemergency.nj.gov.

To better prepare for increased risks from climate change, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection recommends:

  • Take out flood insurance: Homeowners should purchase flood insurance to avoid paying out of pocket for flood damage. Most home insurance does not cover flood damage. Properties in the Special flood risk zone (SFHA) are eligible for federal flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) if their municipality participates in the program. In some cases, obtaining private flood insurance may be a good idea if homes are outside of the SFHA but are experiencing or may experience (due to impermeable surface cover or otherwise) flooding. important.

  • Understand your flood risk: Statewide flood risk is increasing due to climate change. Areas that have never flooded before may experience significant flooding now or in the future. Many online tools and resources are available to help you better visualize risk. These tools include NJFloodMapper, which can help you visualize flood risk in the context of sea level rise and extreme flooding. Another is Resilient NJ: Local Climate Change Planning Toolkit. Primarily aimed at local government officials, the toolkit can be used to inform climate resilience planning efforts, including conducting a climate change hazard vulnerability assessment. Understanding a community’s vulnerability can help guide effective decision-making to prevent or eliminate flood risk.

  • Consider a buyout: If a home experiences repeated and severe flood damage, homeowners may consider moving to a low-risk area. The blue acres offers relocation assistance to families whose homes are subject to repeated flooding. Any owner interested in selling their property can submit a request to Blue Acres via the form on the Blue Acres website.

  • Prepare for DEP weather: DEP also recently launched a “DEP Weather Ready” website, which provides resources that provide live weather information and social media posts from the National Weather Service, social media posts from government response agencies and links to DEP programs that are typically involved in preparing for and responding to storms.

Resilience planning and disaster preparedness are more effective when the whole community is involved. Resilient NJ is DEP’s flagship resilience planning program and regularly provides funding opportunities for regions and municipalities to receive technical assistance in resilience planning for the benefit of the entire community.

“For homeowners, the first steps toward resilience are learning about Resilient NJ, contacting local authorities to learn about their municipality’s climate resilience planning efforts, and taking the time to see what resources can help. be available to them,” said New Jersey’s climate resilience chief. Officer Nicholas Angarone. “The real keys to resilience are preparation and education.”

PHOTO/New Brunswick floods caused by Ida, September 2021

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