NJ Braces For Above-Average 2013 Hurricane Season [POLL/AUDIO]
New Jersey is still in the midst of rebuilding and recovering from Hurricane Sandy and come June 1, the 2013 hurricane season will be getting underway.
Top forecasters are predicting an above-average season in the Atlantic which 18 tropical storms forecast, of which nine will be hurricanes.
There is a 72 percent chance that a major hurricane will hit the United States. During a typical year, there are 12 tropical storms, of which seven are hurricanes. The forecast was released by meteorologists Philip Klotzbach and William Gray at Colorado State University's Tropical Meteorology Project.
Should we be preparing any differently this year than we have previously?
"The fundamentals remain in terms of family preparedness. Everything depends on the track of a particular storm, so it's important for people to stay in tune with their local and state officials," said Mary Goepfert, external affairs officer with the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management.
"One common denominator that impacted everyone during Sandy was long-term power outages. It's very important to pay particular attention to how we prepare for that, especially if there are people in your home who are dependent on electrical equipment."
"The length of the outages during Sandy was something we had not faced before. We did have an issue with fuel that got corrected quickly," said Goepfert. "But, those are things to consider. We always tell people to gas up their vehicles in anticipation of a storm. That's one reason we do that."
It's incredibly important to have situational awareness about storms, especially since Sandy.
"Local officials are very in tune to what areas have changed in terms of flooding and the storm surges and things of that nature, so it's very important to stay in communication with local officials. They often use social media to alert, warn and provide information for people," said Goepfert. "It's also important to heed warnings that are given. Evacuation decisions are not decisions that are taken lightly."
The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and lasts until November 30.