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State of Emergency Declared as Hurricane Joaquin Intensifies

Storm Upgraded to Category 4 Hurricane, As It Heads Toward New Jersey
National Hurricane Center

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--New Jerseyans are preparing for another hurricane potentially hitting the Garden State this weekend.

Governor Chris Christie declared a state of emergency following predictions that Hurricane Joaquin, recently upgradeded to a Category 4 superstorm, may strike the East Coast of the United States.

“We know there is definitely going to be moderate and likely to be major flooding events in South Jersey Friday and Saturday with 5 to 6 inches of rainfall expected to come,” Christie said in a press conference on October 1.

Community leaders are also trying to keep the public informed about Hurricane Joaquin, which is expected to reach the Northeast on Sunday, October 4 or Monday, October 5.

“We, like much of the East Coast are closely monitoring the computer models forecasting the storm's track and intensity,” said Rev. Cameron Overbey in a statement to members of the United Methodist Church of NJ.

“As such, we should be prepared for heavy rains and potentially tropical storm force winds at the beginning of next week.”

New Brunswick residents may be having flashbacks to Hurricane Irene in 2011, which caused Route 18 to be shut down due to flooding, or Hurricane Sandy in 2012, which led to power outages that, in some cases, lasted more than a week.

Under the state of emergency, New Jersey Office of Emergency Management (NJOEM) will be authorized to organize and deploy resources beginning immediately to respond to the storm conditions to anyone affected in the state.

The most important thing you can do to prepare for extreme weather is to make an emergency plan with your family.

Will you all stay in the place that you are?  Or will you all leave and meet at home?  These are important questions that should be discussed with every member of your family, according to experts.

A weather preparedness plan will help children feel comfortable in extreme weather, and will decrease the parental stress level.

Emergency storm kits should include a battery-powered radio or television, flashlight, a first-aid kit, battery-powered or windup clock, extra batteries, an insulated cooler, and a list of important and emergency phone numbers.

Here are a few additional ways to prepare for cases of extreme weather:

  • Store three days worth of extra medicine in a dry and cool place.
  • Prepare a bag of toys, games, and activities for young children that do not require electricity or batteries.
  • Have one flashlight for each person in the home with one pair of extra batteries.
  • Store one gallon of water for each person in the home for three days.
  • Pack three days' worth of non-perishable food such as apples, dried almonds, crackers or other items for each person in the home, as well as any infant supplies that may be necessary.