RIEMA stresses importance of storm preparedness

Local News

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – With all eyes on hurricanes in Texas and Florida, officials in Rhode Island want to make sure people are prepared for disaster.

Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency Director Peter Gaynor said they have been watching the hurricanes very closely.

“We are in the height of hurricane season in the Atlantic,” he said.

“If this hits Florida, it’s going to be catastrophic,” said Daniel Hill, a Coventry native who flew in Wednesday from Orlando for a conference.

Hill said he’s happy to be safe from Irma’s path, but officials say people in New England should still act as if a storm is in their future.No matter where you are, they advise stocking up and getting important documents together just in case.

“I went to Walmart yesterday and there was nothing left in the store,” Hill added.

Gaynor says the local emergency management team is always looking at models and communicating with other agencies.

“The rule is, all the preparedness efforts – whether it’s an evacuation or it’s fueling generators – all those things that we want to have done, you want to have them done before the on set of tropical storm force winds,” he explained.

The emergency management team communicates with state leaders so that if anything were to threaten Rhode Island, the public will be alerted. Their main message is that you can never be too prepared.

“I want to encourage everyone now, while the sky is blue, to prepare yourself,” Gaynor said.

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