Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) urges Mainers to protect against flood damage


July 1, 2016


(Augusta) Heavy rainfall this week prompts a reminder for Mainers to take precautions to protect themselves and their property against flood damage.

“Our first concern is protecting the people of Maine,” said Bruce Fitzgerald, Maine Emergency Management Agency Director. “One of the most important things home and business owners can do is to check into flood insurance. Most policies do not cover flood damage and there may be a 30-day waiting period before a flood policy goes into effect.”

Following major weather events, communities are encouraged to report public damages to their town office or County Emergency Management Agency. Disaster assistance programs generally do not cover damage to private infrastructure.

Additional steps property owners can take include:

  • Preparing a disaster kit to include non-perishable food items and bottled water in case of isolation due to flooding.

  • Planting vegetation to prevent erosion.

  • Paying close attention to conditions in flood-prone areas and being aware that any sudden or significant rainstorm increases the risk of flooding.

  • Installing backflow valves to prevent sewer lines from backing up.

  • Elevating washers, dryers, water heaters, oil tanks and furnaces on concrete blocks to protect from floodwaters.

  • Installing a sump pump system in the basement if your basement is at risk of flooding.

  • Storing valuable family items and important documents somewhere other than the basement.

  • Installing a flood-detection device that notifies you if there is water in your basement.

If you experience a flood the following steps are recommended:

  • Turning off utilities at the main power switch.

  • Keeping a supply of fresh water in case your supply becomes contaminated.

  • Evacuating if you are threatened by rising water.

  • Never drive or walk through a flooded area. “Turn Around, Don’t Drown.”

  • Staying clear of downed power lines and electrical equipment in flooded basements.

  • Document damage with photos.

“A few preventive steps could save home and business owners a great deal of money and hardship,” said Fitzgerald.

For more information on preparing for and preventing flood damage, go to