PEMA Updating Providence’s Emergency Mitigation Plans

By: Tim Studebaker

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Everyone needs an emergency plan, and cities are no different.  In Providence, it’s the Providence Emergency Management Agency that prepares for dozens of different types of potential crises.  As required every five years, they’re working on updating the city’s plan.

PEMA Director Kevin Kugel says, “Some of the hazards that are higher risk that are more likely to happen also happen to be the very same hazards that the city is well prepared for.”

One of the more common risks for the area, Kugel says, is flooding, specifically from hurricanes.

Kugel says, “That flooding we look at in terms of storm surge and then inundation from the rain.  The Fox Point hurricane barrier right now is our best mitigation against that.  It does protect very low lying areas of the city against that storm surge.”

Localized flooding from rain and snow melt is a different issue, and PEMA wants your feedback to help plan for it.

Kugel says, “It’s very important that we get that public input for people to say ‘Hey, you know, this street, this underpass floods every time it rains.’”

There’s something new this time around, a sign of the times here in the digital age.  The city is focusing on more than just natural disasters.

Kugel says, “Recently, the methodology has been updated so we include all hazards, including things like cyber-security, civil disobedience, and technological hazards.”

The agency has held three meetings looking for public input, but if you missed your chance, they’re accepting comments online through March 29th: http://www.providenceri.gov/public-comment-requested-city-multi-hazard-mitigation-plan/

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