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While it’s still unclear whether Hurricane Joaquin will make landfall in New Jersey or veer off to the sea, two things appear certain: heavy wind and rains are expected and Jersey City and Hudson County residents should to be prepared for the worst.

Regardless of Joaquin’s magnitude or path, the Hudson County Regional Health Commission (HCR HC) is reminding locals that it’s not too early to begin preparing.

“Start planning now, even through the track is uncertain,” said Monique Davis, the organization’s public information officer. “It’s not a bad idea to start planning.”

Here are a few tips from the HCRHC on how to best prepare for the storm and what to do if disaster strikes:

Have enough water available — Residents should have at least one gallon of water for each person and animal per day, for at least three days.

-Have a plan — Review a plan with your family on what will be done if evacuation is required, if power is lost and decide how to communicate and where to meet if separated.

Go to the bank — If the power goes out, ATM machines and registers at stores will not accept debit or credit cards, and cash will be the only method of payment.

-Buy non-perishable foods — High protein foods, like granola bars and peanut butter, are the best foods to buy. Soup that just requires water to make is a good option too, because it can still be eaten even if it’s not warm.

-Don’t open the refrigerator — Keeping the refrigerator and freezer doors closed will keep food cold longer. The likelihood of food-borne illness increases after perishable food has been left unrefrigerated for four hours.

-Have medication ready!!! — Anyone taking medication should have enough to last them several days. In case of evacuation, residents should have everything they need packed, including medical supplies, such as gauze.

-Fill up your tank — Without power, gas stations won’t be open to fuel your car, so fill up before the storm arrives.

Davis said residents can follow the on Twitter @hudsonREGhealth, for updates on the storm.

 

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