Getting Ready for Coastal Storms
Living on the Jersey Shore means dealing with coastal storms, mostly in the form of hurricanes and nor’easters.
By definition, a nor’easter is a “storm that forms along the East Coast of North America. Nor'easters are named after the direction from which the strongest winds typically blow over the northeast states, including New England and the Mid-Atlantic states. The storms can bring wind, snow, rain and flooding.”
Here at the shore, most of damage we suffer is flooding and beach erosion due to high surf and tidal surge.
Nor’easter vs. hurricane
Nor'easters and hurricanes both form over the Atlantic Ocean. They're both also types of cyclones-a storm that has winds spiraling around a central low pressure zone.
However, while hurricanes originate over the warm waters of the tropics (near the equator) and rely on warm air to help move and strengthen them, nor'easters originate further north, near the eastern coast of the United States. Also, nor'easters thrive and pick up strength from cold air in the atmosphere, north of the Jet Stream and fueled by low-pressure systems from Canada.
Typically nor’easters are most common during the months between September and April. Because they thrive on cold air, bad weather conditions usually accompany them. These conditions usually include rain, flooding, high winds, snow and even blizzards. Sometimes the winds can be stronger than hurricane-force winds.
Hurricane season typically runs from June through October, with most storms affecting the East Coast during late August through October.
How to prepare for a coastal storm
Winterize Your Home
- Exposed water pipes should be wrapped with newspapers or a plastic wrap, and faucets should be turned on to allow a trickle to come through to prevent freezing and pipes bursting.
- Leaking roofs need to be patched or re-freezing precipitation could widen gaps and bring in more water and cold.
- Clogged gutters should be cleared of fallen leaves and twigs to let liquid flow and not get a chance to freeze so gutters weigh down.
Stock Up on Supplies
- Canned and Non-Perishable Food: Begin buying a few canned goods before the season with each trip to the supermarket as part of your regular shopping.
- Bottled Water: You should always keep a few extra gallons of water with some designated for drinking, others for non-consumption and set aside for washing up and cleaning, and even for first aid purposes.
- Battery-Operated Devices: Keep an assortment of fresh batteries in different sizes for use in flashlights, radios, battery-operated charges and other useful equipment.
- Generators: Keeping a generator running requires diligent maintenance. Perform all necessary checks, change the oil and make sure you’re stocked with all the necessary equipment and fuel to keep it running. Store it outside of your house at a good distance, since generators emit carbon monoxide exhaust.
- Emergency & First-Aid Equipment: Keep your home first-aid kit fully stocked with fresh, clean bandages and non-expired topical applicants and gels
- Keep Your Car Storm-Ready: Things to keep in your trunk are first-aid kit; jumper cables, shovel, scrapers and brushes .You may also want to carry kitty litter or rock salt to free your car from slushy situations.
Being prepared is paramount to making it through a storm unscathed. However there are circumstances beyond anyone’s control that may affect your home which even the best preparation won’t help. In that case, SERVPRO of Hackensack/Little Ferry is your best bet to get your home back to normal after a terrible storm.