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Breezy Point Queens, Flood damage

Hurricane Preparedness for the residents of the New York & New Jersey coastline

Hurricane Preparedness for the residents of the New York & New Jersey coastline

As a fellow resident and homeowner living in Massapequa Shores, NY Nassau County, I recently attended the Town of Oyster Hurricane Preparedness seminar. I wanted to share some of what I felt were the key themes and takeaway’s impacting my fellow residents.

Back in May, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) published their annual climate prediction for the Atlantic Hurricane season. They’re forecast called for 8-13 named storms with 3-6 forming into Hurricanes and 1-2 becoming major hurricanes. If you’re the cynical type, who watches the local TV forecast and realizes they’re often wrong, you’ll probably take this with a grain of salt because this is a very low/average projection. Keep in mind, Super storm Sandy was NOT a named Hurricane and we all felt the wrath. Times have changed, especially for us living by the water. Our tide levels have changed, the water table below us has changed and the types of hazards that impact our families and homes has changed.

Categories of Hurricane storms are representative of sustained wind speed starting at 74-95mph, and measures the wind speed and force only; a common misconception is that rain and water are built into this forecast. They are NOT. Often left out of the conversation in the past is one of our greatest hazards living on the coast water damage, flooding and the mighty storm surges that will continue to wreak havoc on us.

Here are some simple tips that I learned first hand.

1) Listen to the forecast! If they call for an evacuation, do it. Due to the often incorrect forecasting we waited a touch too long and drove out in 5 feet of water. If it wasn’t for a truck with a snorkel we may not have made it.
2) Storm forecasting technology in the US is catching up with the rest of Europe. What was sufficient up to 2011, is no longer, as a country we have dramatically upgraded our storm resolution and forecasting abilities. They should be taken seriously.
3) If you live by the coast, and water, watch the storm patterns. Flooding and storm surge will follow the right side of the storm. If you see the red dotted forecasting pattern and you are to the right of it, know that the water will have a much bigger impact on you than most- regardless of the category of storm. (Super storm Sandy)

Over the next several weeks, I will update you weekly with tips for preparation, hopefully one drop of knowledge can help all of us to a safer storm season.

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