TRENTON — Will Hurricane Irma have an impact on New Jersey? It's too early to tell.

The National Hurricane Center on Saturday said it is "too early to determine what direct impacts Irma will have on the Bahamas and the continental United States."

Satellite image of Hurricane Irma on Saturday morning (NHC)

"Irma is a menacing storm — a 'major' hurricane with 120 mph winds — and it's expected to continue intensifying as it charges across the ocean," New Jersey 101.5 chief meteorologist Dan Zarow said. The storm on Saturday morning was located near the Leeward Islands with wind gusts of 132 mph.

Zarrow said no forecast beyond five days is very accurate. "IF (and I stress the word IF) the storm ends up in our neighborhood, it wouldn't be until around Tuesday 9/12 (give or take)," Zarrow said.

The Hurricane Center recommended that anyone in hurricane prone areas should have a hurricane plan in place as the peak of the  hurricane season nears.

NJ Office of Emergency Management spokeswoman Laura Connolly said the first thing to do is get together with your family and just start the conversation about preparedness. There are expert materials at

“Put together an emergency kit, with food water, batteries — even clothing for you and your family,” she said. Also important, according to Connolly: “You need to make a communication plan to figure out how you are all going to communicate and reunite with each other.”

Also, knowing someone you can reach out of state helps.

“We have had experiences in past disasters where communication in the state is down, but you are able to make contact outside the state,” Connolly said.

Joe Cutter contributed to this report.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at

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