Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Encourages Citizens To Prepare As Atlantic Hurricane Season Begins

State of Maine
Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management
Maine Emergency Management Agency

Contact:  Vanessa Corson
Cell: (207) 592-6201

AUGUSTA, MAINE — June 1 marks the beginning of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, which extends through November 30. ​The hurricane outlook from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced last week says to expect above-normal activity due to several factors, including near-record warm ocean temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean, development of La Nina conditions in the Pacific, reduced Atlantic trade winds and less wind shear, all of which tend to favor tropical storm formation.

The last hurricane to hit Maine was Hurricane Bob in 1991, but Mainers will recall that Hurricane Lee came close last season. The inland flooding, strong winds, and storm surge that Maine could face because of a hurricane this season would batter the very same communities still recovering from the major disasters that occurred last January and December.

Regardless of whether it’s a hurricane or other tropical system – Maine will continue to experience extreme rainfall events, as we have these last twelve months, many with the same dangers of flooding across the state. Tropical rainfall rates in our hilly and mountainous terrain can lead to disastrous flash flooding. Historically in this region, flash flooding is the most destructive and leads to the most fatalities during landfalling tropical cyclones.

Strong winds can impact the power grid and cause extensive tree damage, with cascading impacts to buildings, vehicles, and powerlines. Maine residents should prepare for the potential of long-duration power outages from tropical storms and make plans well in advance.

Battering surf, high winds and storm surge can lead to extensive damage to our marine coastline and our inland lake marinas and private docks. Peak summer tourist season coincides with the peak hurricane season for New England, which means that thousands of boats on our waters are vulnerable to damage.

To prepare for a hurricane, you should take the following measures:

  • Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Know your surroundings - especially if you are traveling in unfamiliar territory.
  • Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood prone. This will help you know how your property will be affected when storm surge or tidal flooding are forecasted.
  • Identify levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you.
  • Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.
  • Make plans to secure your property:
    • If you live in a high-risk area, cover your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with custom cut to fit plywood. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
    • Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
    • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
    • Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage, it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
    • Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans, and anything else that is not tied down.
    • Determine how and where to secure your boat.
    • Have a generator for emergencies and learn how to operate it safely.

For more information about hurricanes, safety tips, and preparedness information, visit MEMA on FacebookX and Nextdoor or go to our website.