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Poll: If a Hurricane Hits, Will New Jersey Be Ready This Time?

Forecasters say we may see some rough weather in the next few days…Did Sandy teach us anything about staying safe?

Joaquin, a storm currently gathering in the south Atlantic, is expected to head north and possibly make landfall somewhere between North Carolina and Massachusetts. That means New Jersey could be visited by another hurricane this weekend. Whether or not you believe the forecasts, what do you think about the state’s readiness for another major hurricane?

Did we learn anything from Sandy?

  • Yes. We’ve done as much as we can -- elevated homes, hardened much of our infrastructure, and now everyone has backup generators. This time, we’ll be prepared.

  • For the most part, yes. If we lived through Sandy, which was a once-in-a lifetime storm, we’ll handle a regular hurricane. Plus, Sandy is still in front of people’s minds, and they’ll know how to handle this one. Certainly, when people are told to evacuate, they’ll do so this time.

  • You can never be completely prepared. Every storm is different, takes a unique path, and has a different impact. Hopefully, we’ve learned a thing or two, but we’ll just have to wait until the storm hits to see.

  • No. Although some individual things have been fixed, much of the major work is still to be done and could be years off. Things like the Army Corps of Engineers’ dune restoration are incomplete, and massive projects like those being undertaken by Rebuild by Design are years away. We’re just going to have to hope that what’s been repaired can withstand a regular hurricane.

  • Not by any means. We’ve had a hodgepodge of responses to Sandy and are still struggling with basic issues such as home buyouts, moving people away from the coast, and rebuilding with new expectations. Meanwhile, the state has rolled back flood regulations, water-quality rules and climate-change policies. Whatever has been rebuilt has not taken into account future sea-level rise. No one should be surprised if we have another severely damaging storm in the next few years.

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