MEMA officials urging people not to self-deploy to help Hurricane Florence efforts

AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - Maine Emergency Management Officials are asking people who want to help in Hurricane Florence efforts not to head there on their own.

They say it's vitally important for people to be affiliated with an established organization before they leave.

Most organizations won't accepts spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site so volunteering when weather conditions improve is recommended.

They say if you arrive at a disaster scene on your own you become more of a burden than a help.

"They may not have a place to stay. That may cause problems because then there may be some sheltering issues and they're going to need to be housed in addition to folks who are already there and they're needing to find shelter, as well, or be evacuated, so, they could be putting themselves in harm's way. They could also be putting first responders in harm's way, as well," said Susan Faloon, MEMA Public Information Officer.

If you'd like to help now it's suggested you donate funds through an established volunteer organization.

For more information on all relief efforts supported by MEMA head to volunteermaine.org.