FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- As Hurricane Joaquin moved up the coast, government officials joined with emergency responders to warn the public about the dangers of price gouging.
“From nor’easters and snowstorms to Hurricane Sandy, the month of October has brought a series of severe and damaging weather events to Connecticut,” said state Senate President Martin Looney (D-New Haven). "If consumers believe a business is charging an unreasonable price or has raised its price to take advantage of the emergency, they should contact the state Department of Consumer Protection."
In addition, officials warned business not to gouge prices, promising that those caught doing so would be held accountable.
The state's price gouging laws, which prevent business owners from raising prices on goods and services in areas where a natural disaster has occurred, kick in once the governor declares a state of emergency, officials said.
Anyone who believes they may have been victimized by price gougers should call the state's Department of Consumer Protection at 1-800-842-2649.
Some tips for those preparing for the storm include:
- Pack an emergency supply kit.
- Pack a supply of water in jugs or bottles. You should have at least one gallon of water for every person in your home for each day. More will be needed for children, those nursing a child and those exposed to hot weather.
- Have food in cans or sealed packages like soup and tuna fish, foods and juices that do not have to go in the refrigerator or be cooked and food for infants or the elderly.
- Have a manual can opener, paper plates, plastic utensils and something to cook on like a small grill with fuel.
- Be sure to use charcoal and gas grills outside to prevent carbon monoxide build-up.
- Have paper towels, toilet paper and soap.
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