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Assembly Homeland Security Committee Chair Annette Quijano on Friday urged New Jersey residents to be prepared and follow all necessary precautions being advised by local energy management units as Hurricane Irene bears down on New Jersey.

“You can’t fight Mother Nature, you can only be prepared,” said Quijano (D-Union). “This is no time for foolhardiness or bravado. Residents, particularly in the shore areas, should heed the advice of state and local emergency management units, particularly when it comes to evacuations. Our statewide emergency management network has done an excellent job thus far of coordinating preparedness for this storm and I have every confidence in their ability to work together during and after it hits on our state.”

For in depth details on how to prepare, Quijano urged residents to visit the NJ Department of Homeland Security’s Hurricane Preparedness websites: (English) or (Spanish)

For tracking information and general updates on the storm, Quijano urged residents to visit .

Following the advice of other emergency management officials, Quijano also urged residents to have their cell phones charged and to make sure that gas tanks are at least half full.

“As the Governor noted, today is really the last day to prepare so everyone should make sure they are stocked with water, first aid kits, necessary medications, batteries, flashlights, and non-perishable food items,” added Quijano. “In times of emergency, it’s more important than ever that we embrace a sense of community and be sure to check in on elderly family and friends and any others who may be home-bound due to illness or disability to make sure they have the necessary items.”

Quijano noted that most hospitals are prepared and ready for emergencies with back-up generators in place.

“If folks must evacuate and cannot bring their pets, they should contact local shelters to see if they can take them in temporarily. Everyone should also be advised that the state Motor Vehicle Commission is providing an extension until Sept. 10 for any license, registration or inspection that is set to expire at the end of August,” Quijano concluded.