WEB EXTRA: Storm Tips From the City of Providence



Heavy rain and high winds from the storm could cause extensive damage

PROVIDENCEMayor David N. Cicilline and Providence Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) Director Peter T. Gaynor advised residents to take precautions against Hurricane Earl, which is projected to hit Rhode Island on Friday.  Although the hurricane is expected to lessen in intensity as it approaches New England, remnants from the storm could bring heavy rain and high winds.

The Department of Public Works has stockpiled sandbags and crews are checking storm drains to ensure that they are clear of debris. Officials will also closely monitor areas prone to flooding and work closely with the Army Corps of Engineers, the federal agency responsible for operating the Fox Point Hurricane Barrier.

PEMA is advising residents to secure any lawn furniture, outdoor decorations, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that could become airborne in heavy winds.  Mariners are advised to avoid any activity on the water; especially offshore rip currents and strong seas are expected.

Residents are encouraged to monitor news broadcasts for up-to-date storm information, and to take the following steps to ensure they are prepared for the first 72 hours:

Create an emergency kit

  • 72-hour supply of water (at least 3 gallons per person for drinking and sanitation) and non-perishable food
  • First Aid kit
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio
  • Flashlight and plenty of batteries (avoid using candles)
  • Warm blanket or sleeping bag for each person
  • Extra clothing
  • Pet food
  • Books, puzzles, games or other activities for children

Create a family plan

  • Make sure everyone knows where to find the emergency supply kit
  • Determine the best escape route for your home
  • Plan where to meet if family members are separated or if your home becomes unsafe
  • Designate an out-of-area person as the contact person for the family
  • Duplicate important documents like insurance information and social security cards and keep them off site

In the event of flooding, stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flooded road, turn around and go another way.   Also, avoid downed power lines and immediately contact National Grid, (800) 322-3223.  Report any fallen branches that pose a danger to the Fire Department at 274-3344.  In the event of an emergency, call 911.

Continuity of Operations for businesses

PEMA has partnered with NEDRIX, a non-profit organization that provides crisis management assistance to local businesses.  NEDRIX, through the partnership with PEMA, will help improve emergency connectivity and notification between businesses and Providence City government to help companies stay up and running during a disaster.  To sign up for NEDRIX, visit www.nedrix.com/eb_join.php.

Online emergency alert system

Residents and businesses are also encouraged to sign up for an online emergency notification system called FLASHbrief that provides instant alerts of emergencies with the click of the mouse.    Once the free, FLASHbrief software has been downloaded onto the individual's computer, PEMA will have the ability to send instant emergency alerts about hurricanes or other emergency disasters. 

To get connected, visit www.FLASHbrief.com and click on FLASHbrief for Government and Citizens: Get Connected Here.  Then enter “Rhode Island”, “Providence County” and “Providence” in the appropriate fields and click “download”.  A FLASHbrief icon will appear on the lower, right-hand corner of the computer screen.

Reverse 911

In the event of an imminent threat, PEMA also has the ability to activate its Reverse 911 system to quickly contact residents by phone and inform them of the steps they should take   

For more information on how you can stay prepared, visit PEMA at www.readyprov.com or at http://72hours.org/providence/ .