The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a blizzard watch for the entire state. NWS is predicting the arrival of an historic winter storm in Rhode Island on Friday and continuing into early Saturday morning. Rhode Islanders can expect snow to start Friday morning and become heavier Friday afternoon and evening. Snow accumulation totals could be as much as 18 – 24 inches. Wind speeds are predicted to be 25 – 35 mph with gusts of 50 – 60 mph
“The combination of several inches of snow and heavy winds increases the possibility of power outages,” said RIEMA Executive Director Theresa C. Murray. “Keeping warm during winter power outages is critical, especially for the elderly or for people who are not physically active or use life-sustaining equipment. Now is the perfect time to check your emergency kits and replace anything that is broken or expired.”
To prepare for a winter storm, Rhode Islanders should:
- Add winter blankets, warm clothes, hats, scarves, and mittens to emergency kits. (Mittens will keep your hands warmer than gloves.)
- Make sure you have enough home-heating fuel to last at least a week. (After a storm, fuel carriers may not be able to get to you for several days.)
- Make sure you can heat at least one room in your home even if the power or furnace is not available.
- Check your carbon monoxide detectors and make sure they are working.
- Make sure you have shovels, sand, and salt for clearing driveways, sidewalks, and walkways.
- Add extra blankets, snow shovel, ice scraper, windshield washer fluid, and a bag of sand or cat litter (for traction) to your car emergency kit.
- Make sure your car’s tires have enough tread on them.
- Know how to shut off water valves in case of a pipe burst.
- Move outdoor pets and livestock to a sheltered location and make sure they always have an unfrozen source of water.
- Consider making plans to delay or reschedule non-essential travel, especially Friday afternoon through Saturday morning. Personal safety should always be the top priority.
Weather conditions can change quickly and frequently. For regularly updated information on this winter storm, visit www.riema.ri.gov