Hello, this is Governor Janet Mills and thank you for listening.
At the time of this recording, the National Weather Service is reporting that Maine will very likely experience impacts from a hurricane that is currently off the East Coast, and that we’ll feel those impacts Friday night into Saturday.
My Administration, led by the Maine Emergency Management Agency, or MEMA, has closely monitored the path of Hurricane Lee. State public safety and transportation officials, Federal and local emergency management officials, and Maine’s utilities have been working together to prepare for this storm.
To make sure that we can respond to this storm with all state resources as quickly as possible, I have proclaimed a State of Emergency. I have also requested that President Biden issue a State of Emergency declaration to give our state access to federal resources and personnel. At the time of this recording, that request is pending, but I have spoken directly with the Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator, Deanne Criswell, and I have been assured that the Biden Administration is ready to deploy federal resources to help us weather this storm as quickly as possible.
So, we are doing all we can to prepare for this storm, but there are things that your family can do too to prepare for this storm or future storms as we enter into the hurricane season.
Before any significant storm:
- Check that your emergency kit includes supplies you need for several days without power, including food and water. Check that you have an adequate supply of any medications, pet food, or other necessities that your family needs.
- Get the latest emergency alerts on your smartphone by downloading the free FEMA app – that’s F-E-M-A app – or National Weather Service app.
- Speaking of your cell phone, charge your cell phone or other electronic devices. Have battery powered flashlights and alternative power sources to meet your needs if the power goes out – things like a portable charger or power bank.
- Bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
- And make sure that any generators you own are properly installed, fueled, and in good working order. Remember, never use a generator indoors.
If you need help on these steps, you can visit the Maine Emergency Agency’s website at Maine.gov/mema. That’s Maine.gov/mema. Look for the section at the top of the website called “Maine Prepares.”
Now let’s talk about what to do during a storm itself.
For instance, Hurricane Lee is predicted to slowly weaken as it makes landfall, but we may still see significant flooding and strong winds.
If you lose power during the storm, keep your freezer and refrigerator closed. A closed refrigerator will keep food cold for four hours without electricity. A full freezer without power will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.
And remember, driving through puddles and flooded roads is very dangerous – be aware, and don’t drive into waters that you don’t know how deep they are.
And please, if you’re outdoors, watch out for downed power lines. Do not go near them.
Trees are going to fall, and the utilities, I’m sure, will be out there as soon as possible, restoring power where there are serious outages.
And after power is restored, you might be wondering what to do with storm damaged trees. Look online at Maine Forest Service, where they will offer helpful tips and guidance for those faced with questions about downed trees, limbs, and branches.
My Administration will keep track of the path of Hurricane Lee and coordinate with federal and local partners to prepare for its arrival and to respond to its impact here in Maine, just as we will during future storms this hurricane season.
As always, please be careful and take common-sense steps to ensure you have all you need to stay safe during and after this storm.
And reassure the children that storms do pass, and they will be safe. We will do all we can to keep you and your family, friends, neighbors, and loved ones safe.
This is Governor Janet Mills and thank you for listening.