RIEMA URGES ALL RESIDENTS TO BE PREPARED FOR This UPCOMING HURRICANE SEASON
May 22 thru May 28 has been designated as Hurricane Preparedness Week
Hurricanes are among the most dramatic, damaging and potentially deadly weather events. The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) are urging residents of New England’s coastal communities to be prepared for the upcoming hurricane season. The force of hurricane winds alone can cause tremendous devastation, toppling trees and power lines and undermining weak areas of buildings.
Past hurricane seasons have illustrated that the consequences of seasonal and coastal flooding can be devastating, and the greatest potential for loss of life related to a hurricane is from the storm surge. Storm surge is simply water that is pushed toward the shore by the force of the winds swirling around the storm. This advancing surge combines with the normal tides to create the hurricane storm tide, which can increase the mean water level to heights impacting roads, homes, and other critical infrastructure. Last year we just missed being hit by Hurricane Earl. Had that storm turned west the damage to our coastal communities would have been devastating. Our friends at the National Weather service tell us every year that we will get hit by a significant Hurricane. It’s just a matter of time.
Executive Director J. David Smith of R.I. Emergency management has been working aggressively with State and local governments and officials, and most importantly the general public to prevent and offset hurricane damage through preparedness measures.
FEMA and RIEMA are working closely with our partners to prepare for the 2011 Hurricane Season, but it is also imperative that the public does all they can to be prepared. In fact, the emergency response team – composed of our federal partners, state and local governments and officials – will only be as successful as the public is prepared.
While RIEMA and its partners are preparing for the next emergency, it is critical that families and communities do all they can to prepare as well. This includes having a plan in case of an emergency. What will your family do? Where will you go? Where will you meet if you are separated? Being prepared not only means having a plan, but also having an emergency response kit with supplies to support you and your family for at least 72 hours if not longer.
And, in the event of an emergency, after you have secured your family, do one more thing, check on a neighbor.
We all have a stake in emergency preparedness, and the outcome of the next disaster will be defined by this preparedness.
Attached is a Southern New England fact sheet that offers some history and tips on safety and preparedness.
The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) is the state agency responsible for coordinating federal, state, and local resources to protect the public during disasters and emergencies. RIEMA helps develop plans for effective response to all hazards, trains emergency personnel, provides information to families and communities, and assists in recovery from disaster losses. You can learn more about RIEMA by visiting the RIEMA homepage at www.riema.ri.gov