Preparing for severe weather

May 8, 2008 3:17:30 PM PDT
New Jersey's Emergency Preparedness Conference is in its tenth year. The buzz this year is all about being weather ready, especially for floods, which have been happening more often in New Jersey.

"We had three major floods that affected a large group of people in actually a less than two year period," said Scott Kroczynski, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service.

Major floods affected New Jersey rivers in 2004, 2005 and 2006, leaving many residents to wonder, why is it flooding so often?

"We're just in an incredible wet period right now. Will this continue into the future? Who's to say," said hydrometeorologist David Solano.

Even the experts can't predict when the next flood will occur, but they do know that some of the biggest river floods in New Jersey's history were caused by remnants of a tropical storm.

"The weather pattern has been such that the rainfall associated with them has affected this area," said Solano.

Experts said that even though a hurricane hasn't made landfall in New Jersey in 105 years, people living in the Garden State still must prepare for the possibility.

"Given the lack of recent history, most people think it's something that happens to somebody else," said Bill Read, director of the National Hurricane Center.

"Have a plan of what you are going to do if you are asked to evacuate, and what would you do if you couldn't evacuate," added hurricane expert Dr. Steve Lyons.

The most important information to take away from the conference: be prepared for flooding by staying informed.