FEMA officials explain agency’s role in responding to Hurricane Lee in Maine

Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 5:51 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WABI) - The Federal Emergency Management Agency is standing by to help with whatever Hurricane Lee might bring to Maine.

FEMA officials say they’re coordinating with a dozen other federal agencies, as well as those here in the state, to be at the ready Saturday and going forward.

They say the best thing Mainers can do at this time is prepare themselves, their families, and their property.

President Joe Biden has already approved an Emergency Declaration for Maine, which provides some federal assistance.

Officials say the declaration allows them to address any immediate needs that may arise once Hurricane Lee arrives.

“Whether that be pre-positioning FEMA teams or providing with mass care, it just opens up the door so that the federal government can support the state and local governments,” said David Maurstad, Assistant Administrator, Federal Insurance Directorate, FEMA.

Depending on how bad Hurricane Lee hits Maine, more aid could come.

“As soon as it’s safe we’ll begin to help local governments, working with the state in understanding what the needs are and then being able to call on our federal partners to meet those needs. And certainly, if the president declares a national disaster with individual assistance and public assistance, then those processes will kick in. But we really need to wait to see what the severity of the storm is first, what kind of damage,” said Maurstad.

Maurstad says Mainers should take Lee seriously and finish any last-minute preparations.

You can go to ready.gov to see a full list of tips.