NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — Hurricane Hunter planes were at Quonset State Airport to raise awareness about hurricane preparedness as the season approaches.
Former Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency administrator now acting FEMA administrator Peter Gaynor was on hand to encourage people to get prepared now, just two weeks before hurricane season officially begins.
“We haven’t had them [the planes] here in a couple of years, and I’m very excited they came back to my home state,” Gaynor said.
School children from all over Rhode Island have the opportunity to tour inside the two hurricane hunter planes. Both aircrafts are used to fly into the center of hurricanes.
“Its job is to go right through the middle through the eyewall into the center to find that low-level center of circulation and right back out the other side,” Lt. Commander Nate Kahn of USAF Hurricane Hunters said.
Information gathered by the planes is used by forecasters to determine forecast track and intensity, information that can save thousands of lives.
“It’s really important for people to understand that even somewhere as far north as Rhode Island, hurricanes can have an impact,” Kahn said. “The things you need to do in advance of a storm is not when the storm is 12 hours from reaching you or when the impact is already there. At that point, it’s already too late.”
The Hurricane Hunter aircraft has a few more stops along the East Coast to raise awareness before hurricane season begins on June 1.