Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Gears Up for Halloween Storm
October 31, 2019
Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is preparing for another significant wind and rain storm this month that is expected to bring damaging winds tonight into Friday and has the potential for widespread power outages. Winds are expected to be strongest in the Down East and Mid Coast areas, with gusts up to 60 mph expected.
"We have been planning for the storm since early this week and have been in close contact with Governor Janet Mill's office," said MEMA Acting Director Peter Rogers. "We held a conference call this afternoon with our many partner agencies to ensure situational awareness. We have also been working closely with the National Weather Service and the utilities for planning purposes in advance of the storm."
MEMA staff will remain in contact with key partners including the National Weather Service, utilities, county emergency management agencies, Red Cross, DOT, CDC, and the Department of Public safety to ensure public safety. Many county emergency management agencies have partially activated their Emergency Operations Centers and have established lines of communication with the electric utilities to ensure efficient clearing of road debris and power restoration.
MEMA has a staffing plan in place and is prepared to activate the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) early tomorrow morning should severe storm damage and extensive power outages occur.
Citizens can prepare in advance of the storm by:
Stocking up on emergency supplies such as non-perishable food, water, medication, cash, pet supplies and other items needed in case of a power outage or blocked roads
Having a "Go Bag" ready with essential supplies should you have to evacuate
Gassing up vehicles in advance of the storm
Charging cell phones and other electronic devices
Creating a plan that includes meeting locations, critical phone numbers, back-up communications methods, evacuation routes and shelter locations
Ensuring alternate heat and power sources are in proper working condition and properly installed
Downloading the free FEMA app to receive location-specific alerts and warnings as well as targeted preparedness information
Those who are out trick-or-treating tonight should use extreme caution as roadways may be littered with debris and fallen power lines. Drivers are reminded to never attempt to drive down a flooded roadway, as the road may be washed out underneath. Visibility may also be compromised, making it difficult to see those dressed in dark clothing. Trick-or-treaters should wear reflective clothing and carry flashlights.
It's also important to remember the following:
Never drive across or attempt to remove fallen power lines or tree limbs touching them.
Document all damage costs to property for insurance and other assistance purposes.
Contact your town office or call 2-1-1 for sheltering and warming center locations.
For additional preparedness, shelter and safety information, please visit Maine.gov/mema, or visit MEMA on Facebook or Twitter.