Gov. Janet Mills & MEMA urge residents preparedness ahead of storm

Hurricane Lee Tracking
Hurricane Lee Tracking(MGN)
Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 6:47 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Governor Janet Mills along with the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA)  issued a statement on precautions to take ahead of Hurricane Lee.

MEMA recommends checking your emergency kits, including supplies for several days without power, which includes food, water and hand sanitizer.

They say you should also consider medications, pet food, and other needs.

The FEMA or National Weather Service app to make sure you’re up to date with the latest alerts.

Charge your electronic devices and determine local evacuation routes.

Bring all of your outdoor furniture or decorations indoors and make sure your generator is properly fueled and working ahead of the storm.

“We are tracking the path of the storm and coordinating with federal and local partners to prepare for its arrival,” said Gov. Mills.

To prepare for the storm, MEMA recommends:

  • Check that your emergency kit includes supplies needed for several days without power, including food, water, and hand sanitizer. Also consider medications, pet food or other special needs.
  • Get the latest alerts and warnings on your smartphone by downloading the free FEMA app or National Weather Service app.
  • Ensure cell phones are enabled to receive National Weather Service Wireless Emergency Alerts for tornadoes, flash flooding and other emergency situations.
  • Charge cell phones and other electronic devices.
  • Determine local evacuation routes.
  • Bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
  • Ensure generators are properly installed, fueled, and in good working order.

Preparations for mariners:

  • Mariners should listen to weather forecasts and plan ahead.
  • Mariners should consider altering plans to avoid possible hazardous conditions. Remain in port, seek safe harbor, alter course, and/or secure the vessel for severe wind and waves.
  • Haul out your boat if possible and secure it or add additional lines in advance of a hurricane.
  • Secure electronic position indicating radio beacons. If unsecured, an EPIRB can break free from a boat and trigger an emergency signal to the Coast Guard.
  • Contact local marinas to ask for advice about securing a vessel.
  • Ensure boating gear is properly stowed or tied down to avoid causing unnecessary searches by the Coast Guard and other first responders. Life jackets, life rafts and small non-powered vessels are some examples of boating equipment often found adrift following severe weather.
  • Beachgoers should heed warnings from local lifeguards and weather services in regards to the approaching storm. Wave heights and currents typically increase before a storm makes landfall. Even the best swimmers can fall victim to the strong waves and rip currents caused by tropical storms or hurricanes.
  • Label and secure your paddlecraft. Storms can cause unsecured paddlecraft to break loose, which will result in search and rescue cases. If gear and craft are labeled properly, search and rescue coordinators can reach out quickly to see if an individual was in distress.

To prepare for a power outage:

  • Find Alternate Power Sources. Plan for batteries and alternative power sources to meet your needs when the power goes out, such as a portable charger or power bank. Have flashlights for every household member. Remember, never use a generator indoors.
  • Appliances. Disconnect appliances and electronics to avoid damage from electrical surges. Install carbon monoxide detectors with battery backup in central locations on every level of your home to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Food Storage. Keep freezers and refrigerators closed. A refrigerator will keep food cold for four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours. If you are in doubt, monitor temperatures with a thermometer and throw out food if the temperature is 40 degrees or higher.
  • Know Your Medical Needs. If you rely on electricity for any medical needs, make a power outage plan for medical devices or refrigerated medicines. Find out how long medication can be stored at higher temperatures and get specific guidance for any medications that are critical for life.
  • Cleanup. 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.