TRENTON, NJ - Gov. Chris Christie has declared a state of emergency in New Jersey on Thursday ahead of weekend storms and a possible hit from Hurricane Joaquin. 

By declaring a State of Emergency, the State Director of Emergency Management is authorized to activate and coordinate the preparation, response and recovery efforts for the storm with all county and municipal emergency operations and governmental agencies.

In a press conference Thursday morning, Christie said,"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."

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Flood warnings and watches are in effect throughout New Jersey and rain is expected to begin again Thursday.

"At this point, it's just too soon to say with any certainty whether or not Joaquin is likely to have a direct impact on New Jersey or not," Christie said.

Christie said that former cabinet members who served during Sandy are subject to be recalled to help with this weekend's storm and that he will consider evacuations, if necessary.

"I'm not here to say Sandy II is coming. I have no way of knowing that. But what I want people to know is if it did, we're as prepared as you could be to deal with it," Christie said.

With regard to evacuations, "We're not there yet, and if we are going to be there, my guess is we'd be there in 12 to 24 hours and we'll let people know," Christie said.

The Morris County Office of Emergency Management stated "our focus remains on Sunday night and Monday. Keep in mind that the storm track continues to change and we are not locking into any specific model at this time."

JCP&L has activated storm plans and additional crews have been mobilized ahead of the storm. Customers who are without power should call 1-888-544-4877.

The Morris County Office of Emergency Management will continue to monitor the storm for the Morristown area and offers the following safety tips:

  • Keep flashlights and fresh batteries in your home. Avoid using candles to light your home, especially around children and pets.
  • If you have a water well and pump, keep an emergency supply of bottled water and/or fill your bathtub with fresh water.
  • Have an emergency supply of convenience foods that do not require cooking.
  • Have a hard wired telephone or a charged cell phone handy in the event you need to report your electricity is out. 
  • Gather extra blankets or sleeping bags.
  • Do not use gas stoves, kerosene heaters or other open flame heat sources to prevent deadly carbon monoxide from building up in your home.
  • keep a battery powered radio with extra batteries on hand so you are able to tune in to a local station for current storm information.

Basic Preparedness Tips:

  • Fill vehicle fuel tanks and make sure you have a cell phone car plug to charge phones and portable devices in the event of extended power outages.
  • Fill spare gasoline containers in the event that you have a gas generator 
  • Know where to go if you are ordered to evacuate.
  • Put together a disaster supply kit including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, and copies of your critical information
  • Have adequate supplies in your home in case you lose power and water for several days and you are not able to leave due to flooding or blocked roads.