Union Fire District of South Kingstown Provides Severe Weather Safety Tips Ahead of Tropical Storm Isaias

Tornado Watch in Effect Until 9 p.m.

SOUTH KINGSTOWN — Chief Steven Pinch and the Union Fire District of South Kingstown recommend that residents take the necessary safety precautions to prepare themselves for potentially serious storm impacts as Tropical Storm Isaias is forecast to impact New England later today.

All Union Fire District volunteer fire stations will be fully staffed and ready to respond to emergencies as needed during the storm.

Isaias is expected to arrive in Rhode Island in the late afternoon and continue through tonight and into Wednesday morning. A tropical storm warning is currently in effect across the state.

The peak wind forecast is 20-30 mph with gusts up to 55 mph. There is a limited chance of heavy rain, flooding and tornadoes, though showers and thunderstorms may still occur and widespread power outages are possible.

Residents are reminded that the forecast can change at any point and they should monitor the local forecast throughout the day. Stay informed by receiving alerts, warnings, and public safety information before, during, and after emergencies.

The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency offers a flood preparedness guide, which can be downloaded here. Residents are encouraged to move immediately to higher ground if there is a chance of flash flooding. Motorists are advised not to drive through large puddles or on flooded roads, which could threaten safety.

Additional safety precautions residents should follow include:

  • Check flashlights and portable radios to confirm they’re working.
  • Fully charge your cell phone, laptop and any other device before the storm.
  • If you own a car, make sure its gas tank is at least half full in the event you need to travel. Purchase a car phone charger so that you can charge your device if you lose power at your home.
  • Ensure that you have an emergency kit that has basic medicine and bandages.
  • Include disinfectants, hand sanitizer and other cleaning supplies that you may need in an emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Set your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings (remember to reset them back to normal once power is restored). During an outage, minimize the number of times you open the refrigerator or freezer door.
  • Prepare your home by securing or bringing in outdoor objects (patio furniture, children’s toys, trash cans, etc.) that could be swept away or damaged during strong winds or flooding.
  • Be prepared by packing a bag with important items in case you need to evacuate. Do not forget to include needed medications and any valuable personal belongings.
  • Be a good neighbor. Check on family, friends, and neighbors, especially the elderly, those who live alone, those with medical conditions and those who may need additional assistance.

After a storm passes through the area, residents should remain cautious. Heavy rain and strong winds can cause a multitude of problems like power outages, fallen debris and floods that often block roads and emergency vehicles, prolonging damage.

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