Important Safety Information Regarding Rip Currents and Storm Planning

September 15, 2023

Dear Friends of Maine State Parks,

We hope this note finds you well and preparing to stay safe with this weekend's storm that will affect our coastline, potentially leading to dangerous rip currents and unsafe conditions along the waterfront. Your and our staff's safety is our top priority, and we appreciate your cooperation in following these important updates and guidelines.

State Park Status

At this time, the Maine State Parks and campgrounds are planning to remain open. However, we are closely monitoring the storm's progression and weather forecasts, especially for Saturday. If the forecast takes a turn for the worse, we may need to close the parks and/or campgrounds to ensure the safety of our campers and staff. We will post updates on our Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Beach Safety Tips for Everyone to Keep in Mind

  1. Check Weather and Water Conditions: Before heading to the beach, check the weather forecast and tide conditions. Avoid the water when strong currents or storms are expected.
  2. Obey Beach Warning Signs: Pay attention to any warning signs posted at the beach, which often indicate hazardous conditions, including rip currents.
  3. Respect the Ocean: The ocean is a dynamic and powerful force of nature. Please treat it carefully and respectfully, and never underestimate its potential danger. If you have any doubts or concerns about water conditions, staying out of the water and enjoying the beach from a safe distance is best.

Rip Current Safety Tips

Learn to Recognize Rip Currents: Educate yourself and your family about identifying rip currents to avoid them. Look for differences in water color, choppier water, or a break in the wave pattern.

It's essential to be aware of rip currents and understand how to stay safe in such conditions:

  1. Don't panic: Rip currents don't pull you under; they pull you away from shore.
  2. Don't swim against the current: If caught in a rip current, do not attempt to swim directly back to shore.
  3. Swim parallel to the shoreline: Instead, swim parallel to the beach to escape the current's grip.
  4. Use the waves: Try swimming towards breaking waves, as they can help you get out of the rip current.
  5. Float or tread water: If you can't reach the shore immediately, stay calm and float or tread water.
  6. Signal for help: If you're unable to make it to the beach, draw attention by yelling and waving.

The best strategy to avoid rip currents is to stay out of the water when rip currents are present or when there are dangerous conditions at the beach. Rip currents can be extremely powerful and pose significant risks to swimmers. It's crucial to prioritize safety and exercise caution when visiting the beach, especially during adverse weather conditions.

For more in-depth information on rip currents and safety measures, please visit USLA's Rip Current Guide.

Preparing for the Storm

To prepare for the approaching storm, we recommend following the guidance of the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA):

  • Ensure your emergency kit includes supplies for several days without power, such as food, water, and hand sanitizer. Remember medications, pet food, or any other special needs.
  • Stay informed by downloading the free FEMA or National Weather Service apps for your smartphone's latest alerts and warnings.
  • Enable National Weather Service Wireless Emergency Alerts on your cell phones for updates on tornadoes, flash flooding, and other emergencies.
  • Charge your cell phones and electronic devices ahead of time.
  • Familiarize yourself with local evacuation routes.
  • Secure outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans, and any loose items.
  • Ensure generators are properly installed, fueled, and in good working order.

Please remember that the Atlantic Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, and preparedness is key to staying safe during any storm.

Stay informed and stay safe! For timely safety and preparedness information, follow MEMA on Facebook or Twitter or visit

Storm Cleanup

Please refer to the Maine Forest Service's cleanup resource for properly managing downed trees and limbs or contact them directly. Remember that responsible storm cleanup not only protects your property but also contributes to the overall health and sustainability of Maine's forests.

Safety is our top priority, and we appreciate your cooperation and respect. We'll keep you updated on any developments related to the storm and campground status on our Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Thank you for being part of our community and helping to keep everyone safe.

Please stay safe,
Andy Cutko
Bureau of Parks and Lands

Visit Maine Emergency Management