The hurricane season is from June 1st through November 30th. It is important to make sure that you prepare before a storm hits and have a plan should you get caught in a storm. With over 400 miles of coastline, Rhode Islanders must pay special attention to flooding and evacuation routes. Visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) hurricane website to learn what to do before, during, and after a storm.
Be prepared for hurricanes, tropical storms and flooding - learn how to build an emergency kit. Stock up on emergency supplies including food, water, protective clothing, medications, batteries, flashlights, important documents, road maps, and a full tank of gasoline. View a full list of supplies to put in an emergency kit suggested by the American Red Cross.
Know what to do before a hurricane strikes - create an emergency plan now. You should have a plan in advance, particularly if you have a medical condition and rely on a device that requires electricity or require physical assistance. Keep your pets in consideration and have a place for them to go, as you may not be able to take them to an emergency shelter with you. As a storm unfolds, evacuees should listen to local authorities on radio or television. Heed local travel restrictions, as evacuation routes often close as a storm develops. If forced to weather a storm, get inside the most secure building possible and stay away from windows. Vehicles are not a safe place to weather a storm. Remember that a lull often signifies the storm's eye—not its end. Anyone riding out a hurricane should wait for authorities to announce that the danger has passed. Tornadoes are often spawned by hurricanes. For more in-depth information on what to do before, during, and after hurricanes, visit the National Weather Service's National Hurricane Center.
Rhode Island is full of wave-hungry surfers. Surfers should be particularly mindful of wave conditions during storms because rip currents and the strong force of water are dangerous. Surfing in dangerous conditions puts an unnecessary strain on emergency personnel. It puts the surfers' lives as well as the rescue workers' lives in danger.
The Rhode Island Department of Health and the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) have joined together to develop a registry for Rhode Islanders with disabilities, chronic conditions, and other special health care needs. This system is designed to identify individuals who may require special assistance during emergencies. Enrollment in the Registry does not guarantee assistance, but allows first responders to appropriately plan for, prepare for, and respond to the needs of the community. For more information or to enroll, visit the Rhode Island Department of Health website.