As Hurricane Joaquin threatens, Jersey Shore residents worry
It's still too early to determine Hurricane Joaquin's exact path and how New Jersey will be affected, but residents along the coast aren't taking any chances.
They've been on this ride before, less than three years ago, and even the slightest possibility of a hard-hitting storm is enough have them spring them into action.
"I'm going to go home right now and get rid of the furniture — put it in the shed," Carmen Adornetto of Seaside Heights said Wednesday. "I'm going to hook the generator up. I have to move my car."
Ardonetto's home received significant water damage due to Superstorm Sandy in October 2012.
Streets along the hardest-hit shore areas are still lined with construction vehicles and contractors' vans as the region continues to clean up the mess left by Sandy.
"I'm just keeping my fingers crossed," said Lisa Smith of Ortley Beach. "Anytime we have any kind of big storm, I'm going to be worried from now on."
Smith already has plans to get out of the splash zone if conditions get too rough, thanks to relatives who live in Manchester and Toms River.
If any good came from Sandy, it's a heightened level of caution and awareness among year-round shore dwellers.
Renee Heuston of Seaside Heights, who still hasn't fully unpacked from the superstorm, said she's much smarter than the pre-Sandy Renee.
"I'm always ready to run just in case," she said.
Friend and fellow Seaside Heights resident Barbara Jones, while admittedly excited for whatever Joaquin brings, has also developed a better action plan.
"I'm ready; I've got the most important things," Jones said. "We got stronger after the first storm."
Not every shore resident is buying into the hype.
"I think they're overselling it," said Dennis McMullen of Ortley Beach, who lost the first floor of his house after Sandy. "Rain's coming, a storm is coming, but I don't see it as a tragic storm."
Just in case, though, his house is stocked with the "junk" he needs to stay indoors for a couple days.
Point Pleasant Beach resident Jane Picone said the forecasts aren't frightening her. New Jersey's been punished once, and that's all Mother Nature has planned for the Garden State, at least for now.
"We already got a big one, and that's going to last us the next 10 years at least," she said.