How to prepare for after a winter storm

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — Rhode Island’s Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) recently released the following tips for being prepared before, during, and after a winter storm. 

“During winters in Rhode Island, we can expect snow or blizzards, ice, or a period of extremely cold temperatures,” according to the RIEMA. “Snowstorms can bring an inch or two of snow or more than a foot of snow.

“When snow is falling at a fast rate, there are winds of 35 miles per hour or more, and visibility is near zero, it is a blizzard. Many times, there is no precipitation, but outdoor temperatures are colder than average for several days in a row.

“Winter storms are often called ‘deceptive killers’ because most deaths that occur are indirectly related to the actual storm. The most common causes of deaths during winter weather are motor vehicle accidents, heart attacks (caused by overexertion while shoveling snow or ice), or asphyxiation from heating sources that are not properly ventilated or are not approved sources of heat.

“House fires occur more frequently during the winter because people do not follow safety directions when using alternate heat sources or because people leave fires or space heaters unattended.

“Be prepared for the cold, as well as the winter weather.” 


After a Winter Storm:

  • Check on elderly family, friends, and neighbors frequently. The elderly are especially susceptible to extremely cold temperatures.
  • Be careful when shoveling snow. Take frequent breaks and stay hydrated to avoid overexertion.
  • Do not run your vehicle unƟl the exhaust pipes has been cleared of snow.
  • Remove all snow from your car before driving. It’s the law. See RIGL  § 31‐23‐16 for details.
  • Make sure nearby fire hydrants and storm drains are free of snow.
  • Take note that parking bans may still be in effect.
  • Safely reduce the amount of snow on roofs, especially if the snow is heavy and we

View the entire Winter Weather Preparedness Guide below. 

Winter Weather Preparedness


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