Union Fire District Offers Safety Tips as Hurricane Henri Tracks Toward Rhode Island

SOUTH KINGSTOWN — Chief Steven Pinch and the Union Fire District of South Kingstown are recommending that residents stay alert and prepare to take the necessary safety precautions as Hurricane Henri tracks toward Rhode Island.

South Kingstown and all of Washington County remains under a hurricane warning through Sunday, Aug. 22 and into Monday morning. Tropical storm or hurricane-like conditions are likely, with heavy rainfall and wind gusts approaching 75 miles per hour or higher likely.

Residents are encouraged to stay informed of the latest Hurricane Henri forecasts and warnings via the National Weather Service.

The Union Fire District will be staffed and ready to respond to storm-related emergencies that arise. The UFD reminds residents to call 9-1-1 in the case of an emergency, and that 911 should not be used to inquire about power outages relating to the storm.

“These types of storms can be highly unpredictable, so we urge residents to take the necessary precautions and use sound judgement as they prepare for extreme weather conditions,” Chief Pinch said. “Residents should stay indoors if possible and make sure to check on their neighbors, friends and family, especially those who are elderly, live alone, have medical conditions and who may need additional assistance.”

Additional safety precautions residents should follow to prepare for a hurricane or tropical storm include: 

  • Don’t go out during a hurricane or tropical storm, if possible.
  • Check flashlights and portable radios to confirm they’re working. Fully charge your cell phone, laptop and any other devices before the storm.
  • Check the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • 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.
  • Have an emergency food supply in case of a power outage. People should have supplies to sustain their families for at least 72 hours.
  • 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. Also, elevate items in your basement in case of flooding, check your sump pump, unplug sensitive electronic equipment, park vehicles in areas that are unlikely to flood and remove boats from the water.
  • Bring in boats from moorings or add extra lines to secure them. 
  • Pack a bag with important items in case you need to evacuate. Don’t forget to include needed medications and any valuable personal belongings.

From the R.I. Emergency Management Agency:

  • Stay informed with up to the minute information from RIEMA’s social media pages by visiting Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
  • Weather – For the latest weather updates from weather.gov, click here.
  • Hurricane PreparednessClick here for information on how to make a plan and make a disaster supply kit and learn about information on what to do before, during, and after a hurricane.