TRENTON - The Christie administration is warning consumers about the potential for price gouging as the state prepares for the possible effects of Hurricane Joaquin.

New Jersey state law prohibits excessive price increases during a declared state of emergency. Gov. Chris Christie declared a state of emergency for New Jersey Thursday ahead of heavy rains expected for this weekend, as well as the potential of Hurricane Joaquin.

The types of items that fall under these laws include food, gas, hotel rooms, generators and other necessary items or services.

Price gouging is defined as price increases that are more than 10 percent higher than the price merchandise was prior to the state of emergency. The laws are in effect for 30 days following the end of the declaration as well.

Anyone who suspects price gouging is taking place should contact the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 973-504-6240.