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MEMA Home > Programs> Communication> News > Hurricane Season Still With Us: Review Preparedness Plans

Hurricane Season Still With Us: Review Preparedness Plans

 

September 15, 2005

 

AUGUSTA, MAINE – Governor John Baldacci and the Maine Emergency Management Agency today urged Mainers to monitor the progress of Hurricane Ophelia, and take time to review their personal emergency plans. “The National Weather Service tells us that New England could see high winds, high surf and rain from Ophelia,” the Governor said. “The track has been very uncertain, so we are paying very close attention to it.” Current forecasts show Ophelia’s effects could be felt in New England this weekend.

MEMA Director Art Cleaves said that state, county and local emergency officials were reviewing their preparations carefully even before Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf States, because this was forecast to be an active hurricane season. “We know that Maine is not at the same risk of strong hurricanes that southern states are. But we don’t need to get the full force of a tropical system to get wind damage, storm surges, inland flooding and even tornadoes.” Cleaves added that Portland and South Portland recently held a joint hurricane exercise to make sure their preparedness plans were in order. “That’s the level of professionalism and preparation that we are seeing,” he said.

Simple preparedness steps for families will pay off in any emergency, Cleaves noted. Mainers should pay attention to weather forecasts and then stay aware of any special instructions local officials may issue.

What do you need to keep in your home?

  • It’s a good idea to keep three days worth of necessities in your home: Medications, nonperishable food, a non-electric can opener, bottled water, a battery-powered radio, flashlight, extra batteries, extra clothes, important documents, cash and credit cards, a first aid kit and items for infants, elderly or disabled family members and pets

What if you had to leave your home?

  • If advised to evacuate, do so immediately
  • In case of evacuation to an emergency shelter, be sure to bring necessary items with you including medications, important papers, extra clothing, pillows and blankets and other hygiene and comfort supplies
  • Make advance preparations for pets so you can bring them with you when you leave, but remember, pets aren't allowed in public shelters
Watch Out for Flooding
  • Never drive through flooded roadways; respect all roadblocks and barricades
  • Check your insurance coverage: Most homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage. Flash floods from heavy tropical rains can cause flooding in unexpected locations.
More preparedness information is available from the Maine Emergency Management Agency (http://www.maine.gov/mema) and the American Red Cross (http://www.redcross.org)

Maine’s most recent experiences with hurricanes or their effects include:

  • 1991 Hurricane Bob: Widespread power outages, inland flooding and downed trees. 44 Red Cross Shelters and 98 municipal shelters opened and served 20,929 people. $5.4 million in damages to roads and public property
  • 1991 “Perfect Storm”: had its roots in a tropical system. $2.5 million in coastal damage and devastating impact on the lobster fleet.
  • 1996 Floods: Devastating flooding in southern Maine from a coastal storm which pulled tropical moisture from the circulation around Hurricane Lily which was well offshore. As much as 19 inches of rain and 1 drowning death. $9 million in damages and aid to individuals
  • 1999 Hurricane Floyd: Heavy rains across Maine, $1.2 million in road and public property damage

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Last update: 07/20/10