New Jersey faces a unique threat profile when it comes to natural disasters. Its geographical location and climatic conditions make it particularly susceptible to hurricanes, winter storms, and flooding. Statistically, New Jersey is among the top 20 states most frequently affected by natural disasters. On average, the state experiences two significant natural disasters per year. A stark reminder of this vulnerability was Hurricane Sandy in 2012, which caused extensive damage and loss of life. Another notable disaster was the Great Atlantic Hurricane of 1944 that wreaked havoc along the Jersey shore.
The economic toll and human loss from these disasters in New Jersey are considerable. According to FEMA, between 1953 and 2023, the state suffered financial losses amounting to over $88.2 billion due to natural disasters. This figure places New Jersey among the top 10 states for highest economic losses from natural disasters. In terms of human lives, natural disasters in New Jersey have resulted in the loss of over 800 lives in the same period.Given this context, the importance of disaster preparedness in New Jersey cannot be overstated. Preparedness can significantly mitigate the impact of these disasters, reducing both economic losses and fatalities.