Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Urges Preparedness Ahead Of Storm

DATE: Monday, January 8, 2024

CONTACT: Vanessa Corson 

CELL PHONE: (207) 592-6201





Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Urges Preparedness Ahead Of Storm


AUGUSTA, MAINE — Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) encourages everyone to monitor the forecast for the next few days as a multi-layered storm system moves into Maine. The National Weather Service in Gray reports heavy rain combined with snowmelt, frozen ground, and snow-clogged drains will cause urban and small stream flooding. Minor river flooding may also occur, especially south of the mountains. Damaging winds of 40-65 mph are possible, with the highest gusts along the coast and the Western Maine Mountains. Power outages are likely. Minor to moderate coastal flooding is possible during the Wednesday morning high tide. Significant beach erosion and splashover is also probable.

For Northern and Downeast Maine, the National Weather Service in Caribou is forecasting snow beginning early Wednesday then turning to freezing rain and sleet by the morning commute, heavy at times and winds gusting upwards of 70 mph.

“Maine is forecast to receive a significant storm Tuesday night into Wednesday that is expected to bring heavy rain, high winds, and wet heavy snow that could lead to flooding, power outages, and slick driving conditions,” said Governor Janet Mills. “I urge Maine people to take precautions and to prepare for the storm and its aftermath. As always, please pay close attention to local forecasts and the directions of emergency management personnel, and be sure to give plow trucks, utility crews, and emergency first responders plenty of space on the roads as they work to keep us safe.”

“We urge citizens to prepare for heavy wet snow, heavy rain, high winds and slippery driving conditions,” said MEMA Director Peter Rogers. “Power outages are a concern. If you use an alternate power source, make sure you do so safely. With the possibility of coastal and urban flooding, motorists need to be alert and never drive through flooded roadways.”

If you must evacuate or are traveling during flooding, remember:

  • Do not walk through flowing water. Most drownings occur during flash floods.
  • Remember the phrase “Turn Around, Don't Drown!” Don't drive through flooded roads.
  • Do not drive around road barriers.

To prepare for a power outage:

  • Take an inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity.
  • Charge cell phones and devices now.
  • Plan for batteries and other alternative power sources to meet your needs, such as a portable charger or power bank.
  • Have flashlights for every household member.
  • Have enough nonperishable food and water for each household member and pets for at least 72 hours. 
  • Review your family communication plan with every household member.

If you use an alternate power source:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Warning signs of CO poisoning are similar to flu symptoms that include headache, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, dizziness, drowsiness, confusion or altered mental status.
  • If carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected, leave the house at once, call 9-1-1, and do not go back into the building until the fire department tells you it is safe.

After power and other utilities have been restored, you might face the issue of what to do with storm-damaged trees. Maine Forest Service offers tips and helpful guidance for those faced with questions about what to do with downed trees, limbs, and branches.

For further tips or resources on heating during the winter months, visit the Governor’s Energy Office’s Winter Heating Guide.

Warming and Charging Centers operated by municipalities and local organizations may open in communities across Maine. Please visit MEMA’s website to find the nearest location: You may also dial 2-1-1 or visit their website for a list of locations.

Mainers are encouraged to stay tuned to alerts and warnings through media or by downloading the free FEMA app on their smart phone, which provides targeted preparedness information, alerts and warnings for specific areas. For timely safety and preparedness information, find MEMA on Facebook or X or visit