Severe Weather Preparedness

Preparing for Winter Weather

The Narragansett and Rhode Island Emergency Management Agencies (RIEMA) advise Rhode Islanders to prepare for the 2015-2016 winter season, which officially begins December 21st and extends through February 28th.

“Rhode Islanders are used to getting our fair share of winter weather, but that doesn’t mean we don’t need to prepare each year,” said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. “Last winter, we faced one of our snowiest seasons on record and very cold temperatures that caused challenges ranging from a statewide travel ban to structural collapses. I want to remind Rhode Islanders to be ready for this year by gathering necessary supplies before the snow arrives. It’s also important to take care of one another – I encourage everyone to check in on neighbors and loved ones to make sure that they are properly prepared for any potential winter weather.”

“While the winter season does not officially begin until December 21st, New England is susceptible to experiencing snow and winter weather in early December,” said RIEMA Director Peter Gaynor. “Although NOAA forecasters predicted above-average temperatures for the Northeast in their latest U.S. Winter Outlook, cold air outbreaks and snow storms are still very likely to occur. We encourage families and businesses to prepare by developing a communications plan, making a kit of essential care items, and being prepared for the potential financial impacts of winter-related events.”
Man Shoveling Snow
Preparedness Tips for Individuals, Families, and Businesses 
The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency recommends that Rhode Islanders take the following steps to prepare for severe winter weather.

  • Make a Disaster‐Supply Kit.
  • Practice your Family Emergency Communications Plan.
  • Check on elderly family, friends and neighbors to make sure they are properly prepared. The elderly are especially susceptible to extremely cold temperatures.
  • Make sure you can heat at least one room in your home if your power or furnace is not available.
  • Before using your fireplace, have your chimney inspected by a certified inspector.
  • Make sure your home is properly insulated. Caulk and weather‐strip doors and windows to keep the cold out.
  • Install storm windows.
  • Insulate water pipes to keep them from freezing.
  • Know how to shut off water valves.
  • Make sure your vehicle’s tires have enough tread on them and consider installing winter tires
  • Consider purchasing and installing a generator in case there is an extended power outage. Make sure the generator is installed by a certified professional.
  • Be aware of parking bans as some communities may issue one prior to a winter storm event.
  • Follow your local Emergency Management Agency and RIEMA on Facebook at and Twitter at @NarragansettEMA and @RhodeIslandEMA for winter-related preparedness tips and winter storm updates.
  • Visit Narragansett EMA's Preparedness for Residents page to sign up for Everbridge and recieve free emergency alerts and notifications.  
  • Visit RIEMA’s website at to sign up for CodeRED and receive free emergency alerts.
  • For additional winter preparedness information and weather alerts visit RIEMA’s website at
List of winter weather tips