One year ago, Rhode Islanders were still feeling the effects of Tropical Storm Irene. Schools were closed, power was out, and storm debris made some roads impassable. Is your home or business ready for the next emergency?
September is National Preparedness Month, and the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) urges all Rhode Islanders to make the pledge to be ready.
"If you haven't done so already, now is the perfect time to take the steps to protect your family, home, or business," said RIEMA Executive Director Theresa C. Murray. "If more households and businesses were prepared, first responders could focus more attention on protecting lives, property, and critical infrastructure. Every person, household, business, school, hospital, and community agency needs to be ready. We are all in this together. It truly takes the whole community to assure an effective emergency response."
RIEMA recommends that all Rhode Islanders follow three steps to get started: make a kit, make a plan, and stay informed.
Make a kit. A disaster-supply kit should provide a collection of basic items that household members may need in the event of a disaster. A disaster-supply kit can be used in your home if there is an extended power outage or it could be used if you have to leave your home and go to a shelter. During an emergency, you will probably not have time to shop or search for the items you need.
Make a plan. Emergency plans can help to make sure you keep in contact with important family and friends.Create and practice a family communications plan in case you are separated during an emergency. Select a family meeting spot where everyone can go in case you are separated. Make sure all family members have an emergency contact list. (The contact list should include a friend or family member that lives out of state. It may be easier to make a non-local call after an emergency.) Learn where shelters are located and how to get there.
Stay informed. Reliable, accurate information is an essential resource before, during, and after an emergency or disaster. For regularly updated information, follow RIEMA on Twitter @RhodeIslandEMA or visit the Facebook page at RI Emergency Management Agency.
For information about RIEMA or emergency management programs, visit www.riema.ri.gov