RIers advised to prepare for hurricane season

This NOAA satellite image taken Friday, Jan. 15, 2016 at 12:45 AM EST shows a stationary front over the southern Bahamas and Cuba. Rain showers and isolated accompany this boundary as it slowly drifts to the south. The remainder of the basin is quiet with mostly sunny skies. In contrast, Hurricane Alex is over the central Atlantic Basin. Alex has maximum winds of 80 miles per hour and will affect the Azores as it moves northward. (Weather Underground via AP)

 CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — The 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season started June 1, and runs through November 30. The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency is organizing disaster preparedness seminars for seniors, as well as advising Rhode Island families and businesses to check or build kits of essentials and develop plans.

“NOAA has predicted that this year’s Atlantic Hurricane Season may be more active than recent years,” RIEMA director Peter Gaynor said Wednesday.

Public awareness about hurricane readiness is declining up and down the East Coast, the EMA says, because the Atlantic is experiencing fewer land-falling storms, so they’re encouraging residents to get ready with actions like #HurricaneStrong, a campaign that shares awareness on social media.

Armand Randolph, of RIEMA, said the agency is finalizing several hurricane preparedness inititaves, including a partnership with the National Weather Service called StormReady Rhode Island.

It’s important people know how to stay safe in their neighborhood. All 39 communities in the state participated and 12 were already deemed Storm Ready, inlcuding Providence and Cranston.

Randolph said hurricane plans should be made ahead of time.

“Your communication plan with your family. Make sure everybody has the same information, contacts, and locations that they are going to go in case something happens,” he said.

The EMA has planned three seminars in June for senior citizens to get prepared for hurricanes, including developing a kit of disaster supplies, an emergency communications plan, and knowing what local resources will be available.

June 8
1 pm – 3 pm
St. Mary’s Hall
1 St. Mary’s Way, Pawtucket, RI

June 15
2 pm – 4 pm
Smithfield Senior Center
1 William J Hawkins Jr. Trail, Smithfield, RI

June 23
11 am – 1 pm
East Providence Senior Center
610 Waterman Ave, East Providence, RI

Throughout the season, the EMA also encourages people to go to their web site at http://www.riema.ri.gov, or to call (401) 946-9996.

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