Mayor Elorza and Providence Emergency Management Agency Host Interfaith Hurricane Preparedness Workshop

PROVIDENCE, RI – Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza and the Providence Emergency
Management Agency (PEMA), in collaboration with the Rhode Island Emergency
Management Agency (RIEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), today
hosted an Interfaith Hurricane Preparedness Workshop at the Providence Career and
Technical Academy to advise and involve local faith-based community organizations in
strategic planning to prepare, respond and to recover from disasters and
emergencies.

«Our primary goal is to make neighborhoods across Providence stronger and safer
through strategic planning so that we can respond rapidly and efficiently to any
upcoming crisis or emergency,» said Mayor Elorza. «We are working collaboratively
with key community stakeholders who are most familiar with the challenges our
residents face, such as our faith-based organizations, to make Providence a more
secure and resilient city.»

Speakers for the workshop included Mayor Elorza, PEMA director Colonel Michael Borg,
the Reverend David Myers, director of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood
Partnerships at the Department of Homeland Security, and the Reverend John Wheeler,
a team leader with the Disaster Behavioral Response Team of Rhode Island.

With the number and severity of weather-related disasters on the rise, the workshop
brought individuals, faith based organizations, and community leaders together to
take action and prepare for possible hurricanes through group discussions and
activities. Attendees also participated in a hurricane scenario exercise during the
afternoon session to assess current procedures and capabilities.

A recent FEMA survey found that nearly 60 percent of American adults have not
practiced what to do in a disaster by participating in a disaster drill or
preparedness exercise at work, school, or home in the past year. Less than half of
these adults have developed an emergency plan and discussed it with their household.

In response to this survey, PEMA is encouraging residents to take action and prepare
a family emergency communications plan, an emergency kit for their home, and to sign
up for CodeRED, Providence’s Emergency
Mass Notification System.