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New Website for Local Officials Concerning Flooding

New StormSmart Coasts website provides information on preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery efforts

As last year's flooding and this year's blizzards have demonstrated, Rhode Island cities and towns must be prepared to respond before storms hit to protect people and property.

StormSmart Coasts is a website designed for local officials whose towns face risks from storms, flooding, and sea level rise. Rhode Island is the seventh state nationally and only the second in New England to launch its own StormSmart website. The site contains resources to help communities take action to improve coastal resiliency.

The StormSmart Coasts Rhode Island site includes real-time data as a storm is approaching, information to prepare communities before the storm, emergency contacts during the storm, and advice on recovering after the storm. It also includes information about funding available to support emergency preparedness.

The website is available at http://ri.stormsmart.org , and includes sections specifically for town council members or town managers, planning boards, building departments, and public works departments. Members can also interact with each other via the website to share information. This feature will be highlighted at the April 26 R.I. Flood Mitigation Association annual meeting, where participants in Rhode Island will link with other New England states for a webinar to discuss StormSmart Coasts resources and outreach tools.

"RIEMA's Floodplain Management Program is proud to be part of this national effort. Providing useful information to communities and its residents on hazard preparedness is incredibly important, as Rhode Islanders witnessed firsthand during last year's flooding events," said Michelle Burnett, Rhode Island's state floodplain manager.

StormSmart Coasts is supported by the NOAA Coastal Services Center (CSC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and was developed for Rhode Island by Rhode Island Sea Grant, the R.I. Emergency Management Agency, the R.I. Building Commission and the R.I. Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC). The Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC) is a regional sponsor.

"All of the partners involved in StormSmart Coasts have expertise to offer in helping Rhode Island prepare for storms. This website consolidates that information and offers visitors a portal to real-time updates and to experts from other states," said Pamela Rubinoff, coastal management extension specialist for Rhode Island Sea Grant/URI Coastal Resources Center.

"The CRMC is thrilled to be a part of the launching of this website for Rhode Island," said CRMC Chairman Michael M. Tikoian. "StormSmart Coasts will provide invaluable information for communities all over the state, and will hopefully make a difference in storm preparedness and response."

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