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Flooding Health and Safety Guidance

Roadway Safety

  • For up-to-date road closure information visit www.newengland511.org
  • If you see road hazards emerging such as sinkholes, landslides, or new or unmarked sections of dangerous or eroded roadways, please call 911.
  • Maine law requires drivers to move over or slow down when approaching stopped emergency, public service, or disabled vehicles on the side of the road. Be sure to slow down and give space to line and tree crews working to restore power. It will protect your safety and theirs.

Find Shelter

  • Find a Warming Center or Emergency Shelter in your area.
  • These facilities are operated independently at the local level. If you have special considerations, such as an electric medical device or medication requiring refrigeration, call the Center or Shelter in advance. Pets may or may not be allowed.


Mental Health Resources

  • 988:If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, call or text 988 to reach the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.
  • The 988 Lifeline responds 24 hours a day, seven days a week to calls, chats or texts from anyone who needs support for suicidal, mental health, and/or substance use crisis, and connects those in need with trained crisis counselors. Individuals can also dial 988 if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.
  • 211 Maine:If you or someone you know needs other support and you don’t know who to call, reach out to 211. 211 Maine is a free, confidential information and referral service that connects people of all ages across Maine to local services. 211 Maine is based in Maine and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Heating & Energy Guides

Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

  • Using portable gas-powered generators can quickly cause carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning when they are run in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces. CO is a colorless, odorless gas formed when burning most types of fuels.
  • Warning signs of CO poisoning are similar to flu symptoms that include: Headache, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, dizziness, drowsiness, confusion or altered mental status.
  • Fever is not a symptom of CO poisoning. Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause coma and death in a matter of minutes, depending on exposure.
  • According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S. CDC), hundreds of people die across the United States due to CO poisoning ever year.
  • Place your generator outdoors. Keep your generator at least 20 feet from windows and doors. Do not put a generator in a closed or partly closed space, like a basement, cellar bulkhead, garage, or porch, even if doors and windows are open
  • Follow the safety instructions for operating your portable generator.
  • Do not use outdoor cooking devices indoors like gas or charcoal grills and gas camp stoves.
  • Place a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector near each sleeping area in your home. Look for the Underwriters Laboratory "UL certification" marked with the "Station Carbon Monoxide Alarm" statement.
  • Check CO detectors regularly to be sure they are functioning properly.
  • If carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected, leave the house at once, call 911, and do not go back into the building until the fire department tells you it is safe.

Food Safety

  • Avoid foodborne illnesses during prolonged power outages by monitoring the temperature of refrigerators and freezers and discarding any perishable food or beverages that have been above 40 degrees Fahrenheit (F) for two hours or more. Any food that has an unusual odor, color, or texture should also be discarded.
  • Keep an appliance thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer at all times to see if food is being stored at safe temperatures (40 degrees F) for the refrigerator; 0 degrees F for the freezer. Most foodborne illness is caused by bacteria that multiply rapidly at temperatures above 40 degrees.
  • Leave the freezer door closed. A full freezer should keep food safe for about two days; a half-full freezer for about one day. Add bags of ice or dry ice to the freezer if it appears the power will be off for an extended period of time. You can safely refreeze thawed foods that still contain ice crystals or feel cold and solid to the touch.
  • Refrigerated items should be safe as long as the power is out no more than about four to six hours. Discard any perishable food that has been above 40 degrees F for four hours or more and any food that has an unusual odor, color, or texture.
  • Leave the refrigerator door closed as much as possible. Every time you open it, cold air escapes and the temperature rises. If it appears the power will be off more than six hours, transfer refrigerated perishable foods to an insulated cooler filled with ice or frozen gel packs. Keep a thermometer in the cooler to be sure the food stays at 40 degrees F or below.
  • Never taste food to determine its safety. Some foods may look and smell fine, but if they've been at room temperature longer than two hours, bacteria can multiply very rapidly. Some types will produce toxins that are not destroyed by cooking and could make you sick.

Tree Debris Safety

  • Homeowners are encouraged to promptly address downed trees and branches, especially those affecting homes and power lines.
  • For trees entangled with power lines, it is essential to contact local power companies for assistance. Even if a fallen limb is not near power or utility wires, it's advisable to rely on professionals to assess the extent of the damage before attempting repairs or removal.
  • For trees or large branches threatening or impacting homes or businesses, enlist the help of a reputable licensed arborist to take care of cleanup. Arborists are trained tree care professionals with the skills to evaluate and rectify storm-damaged trees. They can determine how much of a tree can or should be salvaged. Beware of fly-by-night emergency tree-cutting services, and always request proof of licensing, insurance, and references.
  • Woody debris from storm damage may harbor harmful insects or diseases that threaten our forests. Transporting this debris over long distances can unintentionally spread pests to new areas. In addition to the risks it brings to our environment and economy, violation of rules governing debris movement jeopardizes eligibility for federal aid in the event of a disaster declaration.
  • If you suspect damage from such pests, take photos and share them with the Maine Forest Service to aid in pest management efforts.