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Prepare for Winter Weather

Rhode Island Emergency Agency (RIEMA) is preparing once again for another winter storm. We ask that you too begin preparations for winter weather that is expected to overspread the area beginning between 3 and 4 pm Wednesday afternoon and affect us overnight and into mid-morning on Thursday. The storm will have a mild to moderate affect on Wednesday’s afternoon commute and will produce the heaviest amounts of snowfall between the hours of 9 pm Wednesday and 5 am Thursday. We can expect snow accumulations from 6 or more inches along the coast and throughout Washington County, and from 8 to 12 inches throughout all other counties. This is a large storm with associated wind gusts up to 40 miles per hour.

Although one might think that we are getting used to driving in these conditions due to the frequency of the storms, there have been many accidents even in today’s light snow, and all drivers are asked to slow down your driving speeds. Please put additional car lengths between you and the vehicle ahead; distracted driving also contributes to bad reaction time and sudden stops causing skidding and crashes.

RIEMA is reminding you that we are posting the latest information on our website which can be linked at Conference calls are scheduled with school superintendents, local EMA directors, public works directors, public safety officials, and Chambers of Commerce at times that we hope will benefit their needs.

Don’t Forget to Prepare Your Home and Family

• Prepare for possible isolation in your home by having sufficient heating fuel; regular fuel sources may be cut off. For example, store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove. • Winterize your home to extend the life of your fuel supply by insulating walls and attics, caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows, and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic. • Winterize your house, barn, shed or any other structure that may provide shelter for your family, neighbors, livestock or equipment. Clear rain gutters; repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on a house or other structure during a storm. • Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing. • Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions. • Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts). • Know ahead of time what you should do to help elderly or disabled friends, neighbors or employees. • Hire a contractor to check the structural ability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow - or water, if drains on flat roofs do not work.

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

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