Six Years Later, What Has Changed Since Hurricane Sandy?

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ATLANTIC COUNTY, N.J. -

Although it has been six years since the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, local emergency management crews have been working hard during that time to create better resources for the community.

Atlantic County Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator Jake Lees says that since Sandy, sheltering programs have improved for Atlantic County residents.

“Since then, our emergency operation plans with sheltering type of programs, our community notifications, and our community getting to know the type of importance of evacuating with told to evacuate,” says Lees. 

Cape May County Fire Chief Alex Coulter says open water and swift water rescues, reverse dial 911, and increased social media engagement are just a few extra resources that have improved for Cape May County in the last six years.

“We have trucks that we’ve gotten from the County OEM for flood emergencies," says Coulter. "They’re old Army surplus vehicles. We’ve outfitted them with tanks and pumps — they’re more for people transport because, you know, they’re high water vehicles.”

Reflecting back, Lees says Hurricane Sandy still took an emotional toll, even though the storm's impact to Atlantic County was not as devastating as it was in other areas.

“The most emotional part of Sandy was seeing those of our civilians that fall into those cracks," said Lees. "The cracks that they are not eligible for help and there’s really not a whole lot we can do for them."

Coulter has some additional advice for those in Cape May during hurricane season that could make a world of a difference for both homeowners and first responders.

“Securing your home before you leave," says Coulter. "I know people that they get weary of shutting gas and shutting electric, gas and things like that off but that’s a big help. Especially in the winter months when you worry about frozen pipes and everything."

But most of all: stay vigilant.

Rick Lundholm, the Emergency Management Coordinator of Cape May, says, “Pay attention to the weather forecast and be prepared to relocate.”

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