Peak Season for Hurricanes Starts in Mid-August in New Jersey
Though the national hurricane season normally runs from June 1 through November 30, the peak potential for hurricane and tropical storm activity in New Jersey runs from mid-August through the end of October.
While many tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes do not make landfall in New Jersey, we may still feel their deadly and destructive impacts. Key threats to our area are:
- Wind: Even the weakest hurricanes, category 1, can have winds that reach 95 miles per hour, while the strongest storms, category 5, can have winds above 157 miles per hour.
- Flooding: The thunderstorms and torrential rains that accompany a hurricane can create dangerous and deadly floods or flash floods. At the shore, storm surges can be 25 feet high or more and 50 to 100 miles wide.
- Tornadoes: 70% of hurricanes making landfall spawn at least one tornado.
Preparing for a Hurricane
The NJ Office of Emergency Management (NJOEM) has created a Hurricane Survival Guide that details just about everything you need to know. In addition to building an emergency kit, these tips from FEMA and NJOEM can help you prepare for a hurricane.
- Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. Boarding up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit is an alternative.
- Install straps or clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure.
- Trim trees and shrubs around your home.
- Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
- Secure your boat, if you own one.
- Anchor things that would be unsafe to bring inside, such as grills or propane tanks.
- Consider installing a sump pump with a battery backup.
One of the side effects of a hurricane can be flooding, visit our Preparing For A Flood page, especially if you live in an area that is at risk of flooding.
Depending on your situation, you and your family may need special considerations for individuals with disabilities, seniors, children, and pets. Visit our Emergency Preparation for Special Populations page.
During a Hurricane
You should evacuate under the following conditions:
- If you are directed by local authorities to do so. Be sure to follow their instructions.
- If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure—such shelters are particularly hazardous during hurricanes no matter how well fastened to the ground.
- If you live in a high-rise building—hurricane winds are stronger at higher elevations.
- If you live on the coast, on a floodplain, near a river, or on an inland waterway.
- If you feel you are in danger.
The Red Cross sets up shelters for people who must evacuate. Find a Red Cross shelter.
If you are unable to evacuate, follow the following tips from the NJOOEM.
- Stay informed by listen to the radio, watching TV, or checking the NJOEM’s social media.
- Review your emergency supply kit and evacuation plan with your family and be prepared to evaluate, if necessary or instructed to do so.
- Stay inside. Go to an interior room or area of your home, stay away from windows and glass doors, and shelter-in-place.
- Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.
- Turn off propane tanks.
- Avoid using the phone, except for serious emergencies.
- Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water.
- Keep flashlights and batteries handy.
- Keep your pets with you and be sure to bring additional food and water supplies for them.
- Close all interior doors.