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MEMA Home > Programs> Communication> News > Time to Get Ready for Wintry Blasts

Time to Get Ready for Wintry Blasts


November 18, 2008


AUGUSTA, MAINE -- Winter is coming to Maine. Even though we are only half-way through November, significant snow has already been recorded in the state. And although the price of heating oil has been falling, it is still high, and many homes could be chilly this year.

“Now is the time to put your emergency supplies together for that big winter storm that traps you at home.” says Maine Emergency Management Agency Director Rob McAleer, “It’s also time to remember basic winter safety tips, make your home as snug as possible and reach out within your community to help others stay safe and warm.”

“First of all, imagine that three-day snow storm,” McAleer says. “You won’t want to have to go out, so do you have what you need to stay safe at home? Especially if the power goes out?”

MEMA recommends:

  • Build a disaster supply kit with non-perishable foods, drinking water, necessary medications and other supplies that your family would need for at least a three-day period. Don’t forget those other family members, your pets
  • Make sure your car is ready for winter, with snow tires, winter wipers, and an easily accessible car emergency kit. Remind yourself to slow down and watch out for the other guy that first time you drive in snow or ice.
  • Inside the house, ensure that wood stoves are installed correctly, and that flammable items are stored well away from the stove
  • Check the instructions on alternative heating sources such as kerosene heaters so that you can operate them safely if they are needed
  • If you have a generator, identify a safe place to operate it, outside and well away from enclosed spaces (NEVER in a basement or attached garage). Test your generator at least once a month to make sure it works; and store fuel in proper containers.

Many more winter preparedness and safety measures can be found at

In conjunction with the Governor’s Office of Energy Independence and Security, MEMA also recommends taking simple, inexpensive steps now to winterize your home against wintry winds.

Brochures showing easy “do-it-yourself” ways to winterize your home can be obtained at local Community Action agencies, Cooperative Extension offices, and Maine CareerCenters. Brochures can also be downloaded from the Governor’s Web page or obtained by calling the Governor’s Office at 287-3531.

The Maine Cooperative Extension has created a series of “How to” videos, showing how to carry out some of these simple weatherization steps. These are also available from the Governor’s web page.

“We can all take simple steps toward being prepared for winter and helping others to do the same,” McAleer says. “Maine winters are tough, but working together we get through them safe and warm.“



Lynette Miller


Last update: 07/20/10