During hurricane season, protect yourself from these uninvited guests. Winter winds and ice aren't the only threats to electrical service and safety in Maine. Hurricanes can create warm-weather threats that are just as serious. August and September are the highest-risk months for hurricanes in Maine, and recent years have seen some destructive storms.
Here are some facts and tips to keep you safe through the next hurricane season.
A hurricane watch means get ready. No immediate hurricane is expected, but one could threaten your area within 24-36 hours.
- Monitor TV and radio reports for news and instructions.
- Gather flashlights and portable radios, and make sure you have plenty of batteries for each.
- Get at least a half tank of gas in your car, and some extra cash.
- Prepare to cover your windows and doors with tape or boards.
- Stock up on canned foods (with a manual can opener), bottled water, candles, matches, and any medications you need to take.
- Put CMP's outage reporting hotline number, 1-800-696-1000, near your phone.
- Find and review your home insurance information.
- Make sure your gutters and rainspouts are clear, and clean them out if they are clogged.
If a hurricane warning is issued, a hurricane is expected to strike your area within 24 hours. Officials may evacuate areas vulnerable to flooding and storm surge (destructive waves).
- Keep monitoring TV and radio reports for news and instructions, and evacuate if you're ordered to do so.
- Cover your windows and doors with tape or boards.
- Bring loose items like patio furniture and trash cans inside.
- Fill containers and bathtubs with water.
- Tell your neighbors and at least one contact outside the warning area where you're going, if you decide to evacuate.
Should You Evacuate? Yes, if . . .
- Officials order you to do so.
- You live in a mobile home (even when they're tied down, they're unsafe during high winds).
- You live on a flood plain or offshore island, or near a body of water.
Keep in Mind
Avoid all downed power lines, and keep children and pets away from them and the surrounding ground. No line is safe to touch, ever!
Do not go outside until officials tell you it is safe. The eye of the hurricane can bring blue skies and light winds for a period from a few minutes to over an hour. Don't let it fool you! The hurricane has not passed yet and winds will return to hurricane strength when the eye passes.