- Associated Press - Thursday, October 1, 2015

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island got a break Thursday from rain that drenched much of the East Coast, but forecasters warned the worst is yet to come.

Hurricane Joaquin could add moisture to the recurring rainstorms, creating a powerful weather system that could linger for days. But forecasters were unsure exactly where Joaquin might end up.

Gov. Gina Raimondo and others asked people to get ready ahead of time.

“I urge everyone to prepare. Now is an excellent time to go over your family’s emergency communications plans and put together a disaster supply kit,” Raimondo said.

Emergency officials were monitoring Joaquin’s path and urging residents to do the same.

“You don’t want to be caught off-guard, so the prudent thing to do is to be prepared right now,” said Mike Borg, director of the Providence Emergency Management Agency.

The agency’s staff is making sure all of its equipment, such as generators, is ready to go and communicating with other agencies in case of an emergency, Borg said. It also is reaching out to the public through social media to offer tips on what to do in case Joaquin brings more rain.

The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency is ready to activate the state’s Emergency Operation Center, which centralizes services in case of an emergency.

The agency recommends that people have a disaster supply kit, which should include a three days’ supply of water and non-perishable food, flashlights and plenty of batteries, said Alex Ambrosius, a spokesman for the state’s EMA.

“We’re urging people to prepare today, while winds and rain are at a lull,” Ambrosius said.

Showers are expected to resume Thursday night and continue through Friday, according to the National Weather Service in Taunton.

What happens next is anyone’s guess.

“Whatever path it does choose to take, it will definitely be weakening as it moves north” said Bill Simpson, a weather service meteorologist. “However, a reasonable scenario is high seas, significant rains and moderate winds.”

Simpson said it’s unusual that a storm has so many possible trajectories.

Ambrosius and other emergency officials have been speaking with the weather service daily to get updates.

“If that storm moves an inch, we’ll know,” Ambrosius said

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