WARWICK, R.I. -- Historically, major disasters have been rare in Rhode Island. But as the recent storms have shown, disasters can happen to anyone, anywhere. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) and Ocean State Libraries (OSL) have teamed up to provide valuable information that can help you and your family prepare for disasters.
Here are some important things to think about when planning for the unexpected.
Is your family informed about the types of risks that may occur in your neighborhood?
Rhode Island is prone to hurricanes. Learn your community alert systems and practice hurricane evacuation routes.
Does your family have a plan?
Be sure your family members know what to do in case of a disaster, including how to protect pets and secure property. Plans should include contact information and an out-of-area meeting place.
Do you have a disaster supplies kit?
Learn what types of emergency supplies should be stored and the quantity your family and pets may need. Before a crisis strikes, frequently resupply and maintain the plan and kit.
Learn the simple preparedness steps that can and should be taken by visiting any OSL library. Check out FEMA’s book, Are you Ready? An In-depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness . In addition to the book, librarians can direct you to a DVD, Getting Ready for Disaster, One Family’s Experience available in English and Spanish with closed captioning. The book and video are available online at www.fema.gov/areyouready/ . To find a local public library with the preparedness materials, call your local town or city hall, or go online to http://www.oslri.org/osl/libraries/contact-directions/.
The book and video provide ideas on local resources for individuals, families, and businesses during and after a crisis. For example, when there is a federal disaster declaration, disaster aid from FEMA may provide grants to help repair homes and provide rental assistance to eligible applicants. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) may also help homeowners, renters, non profit organizations and businesses of all sizes with low interest disaster loans.