Emergency Management News - Maine

 

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Drought Task Force Convenes Today as Entire State Faces Abnormally Dry or Moderate Drought Conditions

3 days 3 hours ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE -Maine's Drought Task Force (DTF) Convened today by virtual meeting to assess drought conditions across the state. Maine has experienced drought conditions in some form for the last five years after a period of 14 years with no significant drought conditions.

"We have been monitoring drought conditions in Maine for several weeks now," said Maine Emergency Management Agency Director Peter Rogers. "Unfortunately, the lack of rain combined with a period of very warm temperatures has left every county in the state impacted, with about 47 percent of the state in moderate drought and the rest abnormally dry, according to the U.S. Drought monitor."

"There could be some localized relief to the dry weather especially in northern Maine this weekend and into next week," said Tom Hawley of the National Weather Service in Gray. "However, the overall trend is for warm weather and below normal precipitation which could worsen the drought over the next few weeks."

Surface and groundwater levels were normal in March when the State's River Flow Advisory Commission met to assess flood threat in Maine, but drought conditions have rapidly evolved since mid-May causing what experts call a flash drought.

"The USGS has 36 stations where we monitor streamflow with 30 or more years of record, and nearly all of them are below normal for this time of year and some are the lowest level ever for a given day," said Nicholas Stasulis, Data Section Chief, U.S. Geological Survey. "Groundwater conditions vary across the state, but overall those levels have been declining steadily since the spring runoff."

The DTF is made up of state, federal and private scientific, agricultural, regulatory, water use and natural resources organizations and assists in monitoring, coordinating, and managing responses to droughts and recommends actions to minimize impacts to public health, safety, the environment and agriculture.

Several counties across the state are reporting cases of dry wells and impacts to agriculture. Citizens who may be experiencing low water levels in wells can take steps to conserve water and are reminded of the following:

- Avoid filling wells by a water hauler or fire department. This could contaminate the owner's well because water from an unknown source may contain toxins and water would likely leak out in a short amount of time. - Check water systems for leaks and fix them. This can also save money for those on public water. - Ensure you have a full load before running dishwashers and washing machines. - Space out water usage to avoid a temporary shortage that could damage the pump. - If using drinking water from an outside source, make sure containers and the water source are clean. - Use a licensed well driller or pump installer to check water levels in wells for the most accurate assessment and advice and to avoid contamination.

Additional tips for conserving water are available at Maine.gov/MEMA.

The Task Force will continue to monitor the situation and plans to convene again in two weeks. Reports will be available online at Maine.gov/MEMA or can be obtained from MEMA by calling 207-624-4400.

###

State Drought Conditions Improve in Western Maine, Worsen to the North

3 days 3 hours ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE - Maine's Drought Task Force convened today by virtual meeting to take another look at drought conditions across the state. The Task Force met two weeks ago, as the entire state was in abnormally dry or moderate drought conditions. More than 93 percent of the state remains in some form of dry or drought condition.

"Western Maine saw a great deal of improvement due to the heavy rain this week," said Maine Emergency Management Agency Director Peter Rogers. "What concerns me the most is the progression to D2 or Severe Drought in northern Maine."

The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry reported impacts to crops, including hay, potatoes, wheat and barley as well as an increase in invasive species due to the lack of rain in northern Maine.

"There has been some improvement in groundwater and streamflow in the last few weeks, but we do need more rain" said Nicholas Stasulis, Data Section Chief, U.S. Geological Survey. "We have seen a lot of rain in a short period of time in some areas, but what we need is rain over a longer period of time, so it can maintain streamflow levels."

"We are expecting some rain over the next week, but it will vary across the state," said Tom Hawley of the National Weather Service in Gray. "Overall, the forecast for the next couple weeks calls for lower than normal precipitation and higher than normal temperatures, which unfortunately won't improve the drought."

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Disease Control, Drinking Water Program (DWP) reports that many public water systems in Maine are currently taking steps to prepare for a drought and/or modify operations to accommodate low water.

The Drought Task Force is made up of state, federal and private scientific, agricultural, regulatory, water use and natural resources organizations and assists in monitoring, coordinating, and managing responses to droughts and recommends actions to minimize impacts to public health, safety, the environment and agriculture.

The Task Force will continue to monitor the situation and plans to convene again in two weeks.

###

Drought Task Force Convenes Today as Entire State Faces Abnormally Dry or Moderate Drought Conditions

5 days 5 hours ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE -Maine's Drought Task Force (DTF) Convened today by virtual meeting to assess drought conditions across the state. Maine has experienced drought conditions in some form for the last five years after a period of 14 years with no significant drought conditions.

"We have been monitoring drought conditions in Maine for several weeks now," said Maine Emergency Management Agency Director Peter Rogers. "Unfortunately, the lack of rain combined with a period of very warm temperatures has left every county in the state impacted, with about 47 percent of the state in moderate drought and the rest abnormally dry, according to the U.S. Drought monitor."

"There could be some localized relief to the dry weather especially in northern Maine this weekend and into next week," said Tom Hawley of the National Weather Service in Gray. "However, the overall trend is for warm weather and below normal precipitation which could worsen the drought over the next few weeks."

Surface and groundwater levels were normal in March when the State's River Flow Advisory Commission met to assess flood threat in Maine, but drought conditions have rapidly evolved since mid-May causing what experts call a flash drought.

"The USGS has 36 stations where we monitor streamflow with 30 or more years of record, and nearly all of them are below normal for this time of year and some are the lowest level ever for a given day," said Nicholas Stasulis, Data Section Chief, U.S. Geological Survey. "Groundwater conditions vary across the state, but overall those levels have been declining steadily since the spring runoff."

The DTF is made up of state, federal and private scientific, agricultural, regulatory, water use and natural resources organizations and assists in monitoring, coordinating, and managing responses to droughts and recommends actions to minimize impacts to public health, safety, the environment and agriculture.

Several counties across the state are reporting cases of dry wells and impacts to agriculture. Citizens who may be experiencing low water levels in wells can take steps to conserve water and are reminded of the following:

- Avoid filling wells by a water hauler or fire department. This could contaminate the owner's well because water from an unknown source may contain toxins and water would likely leak out in a short amount of time. - Check water systems for leaks and fix them. This can also save money for those on public water. - Ensure you have a full load before running dishwashers and washing machines. - Space out water usage to avoid a temporary shortage that could damage the pump. - If using drinking water from an outside source, make sure containers and the water source are clean. - Use a licensed well driller or pump installer to check water levels in wells for the most accurate assessment and advice and to avoid contamination.

Additional tips for conserving water are available at Maine.gov/MEMA.

The Task Force will continue to monitor the situation and plans to convene again in two weeks. Reports will be available online at Maine.gov/MEMA or can be obtained from MEMA by calling 207-624-4400.

###

Drought Task Force Convenes Today as Entire State Faces Abnormally Dry or Moderate Drought Conditions

2 weeks 3 days ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE -Maine's Drought Task Force (DTF) Convened today by virtual meeting to assess drought conditions across the state. Maine has experienced drought conditions in some form for the last five years after a period of 14 years with no significant drought conditions.

"We have been monitoring drought conditions in Maine for several weeks now," said Maine Emergency Management Agency Director Peter Rogers. "Unfortunately, the lack of rain combined with a period of very warm temperatures has left every county in the state impacted, with about 47 percent of the state in moderate drought and the rest abnormally dry, according to the U.S. Drought monitor."

"There could be some localized relief to the dry weather especially in northern Maine this weekend and into next week," said Tom Hawley of the National Weather Service in Gray. "However, the overall trend is for warm weather and below normal precipitation which could worsen the drought over the next few weeks."

Surface and groundwater levels were normal in March when the State's River Flow Advisory Commission met to assess flood threat in Maine, but drought conditions have rapidly evolved since mid-May causing what experts call a flash drought.

"The USGS has 36 stations where we monitor streamflow with 30 or more years of record, and nearly all of them are below normal for this time of year and some are the lowest level ever for a given day," said Nicholas Stasulis, Data Section Chief, U.S. Geological Survey. "Groundwater conditions vary across the state, but overall those levels have been declining steadily since the spring runoff."

The DTF is made up of state, federal and private scientific, agricultural, regulatory, water use and natural resources organizations and assists in monitoring, coordinating, and managing responses to droughts and recommends actions to minimize impacts to public health, safety, the environment and agriculture.

Several counties across the state are reporting cases of dry wells and impacts to agriculture. Citizens who may be experiencing low water levels in wells can take steps to conserve water and are reminded of the following:

- Avoid filling wells by a water hauler or fire department. This could contaminate the owner's well because water from an unknown source may contain toxins and water would likely leak out in a short amount of time. - Check water systems for leaks and fix them. This can also save money for those on public water. - Ensure you have a full load before running dishwashers and washing machines. - Space out water usage to avoid a temporary shortage that could damage the pump. - If using drinking water from an outside source, make sure containers and the water source are clean. - Use a licensed well driller or pump installer to check water levels in wells for the most accurate assessment and advice and to avoid contamination.

Additional tips for conserving water are available at Maine.gov/MEMA.

The Task Force will continue to monitor the situation and plans to convene again in two weeks. Reports will be available online at Maine.gov/MEMA or can be obtained from MEMA by calling 207-624-4400.

###

All Seven Employees at MEMA Facility Who Exhibited Symptoms of COVID-19 Test Negative

1 month 2 weeks ago
Augusta, Maine - The Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) announced today that all seven individuals who reported symptoms associated with COVID-19 have tested negative for the virus that causes the disease.

Samples from the seven employees who worked out of MEMA's State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Augusta three from MEMA, two from Maine CDC, and two National Guard members all tested negative at Maine CDC's Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory (HETL). Maine CDC medical epidemiologists continue to investigate what caused the symptoms. Many of the seven individuals reported feeling better today.

After the seven employees called in sick on Thursday, MEMA Director Peter Rogers and Maine CDC Director Nirav D. Shah shifted the SEOC from mostly to fully virtual operations. MEMA and Maine CDC operations have not been disrupted. At no time were SEOC operations closed or halted. MEMA and Maine CDC have exercised continuity of operations plans for situations of this nature. The shift to a virtual operations center ensured no disruption in Maine's ongoing COVID-19 response. Out of an abundance of caution, no staff are working from the MEMA building today. Plans to deep clean the affected areas of the building are underway.

At the outset of the pandemic, MEMA implemented safety protocols at the SEOC to help protect against the spread of COVID-19, including limiting the number of employees working in the SEOC, requiring employees to maintain six feet of distance whenever possible, enhancing cleaning efforts within the office and requiring temperature checks and hand sanitation for all individuals entering the SEOC. The MEMA offices are co-located in a larger building at 45 Commerce Drive with the Maine Department of Public Safety and the Maine Department of Labor.However, no employees of those Departments reported experiencing symptoms to Maine CDC. Measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 should be taken seriously regardless of the setting, including maintaining physical distance, staying home if you're not feeling well, and speaking to your health care provider if you experience symptoms consistent with COVID-19, such as shortness of breath, fever, and cough.

All Seven Employees at MEMA Facility Who Exhibited Symptoms of COVID-19 Test Negative

1 month 2 weeks ago
Augusta, Maine - The Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) announced today that all seven individuals who reported symptoms associated with COVID-19 have tested negative for the virus that causes the disease.

Samples from the seven employees who worked out of MEMA's State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Augusta three from MEMA, two from Maine CDC, and two National Guard members all tested negative at Maine CDC's Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory (HETL). Maine CDC medical epidemiologists continue to investigate what caused the symptoms. Many of the seven individuals reported feeling better today.

After the seven employees called in sick on Thursday, MEMA Director Peter Rogers and Maine CDC Director Nirav D. Shah shifted the SEOC from mostly to fully virtual operations. MEMA and Maine CDC operations have not been disrupted. At no time were SEOC operations closed or halted. MEMA and Maine CDC have exercised continuity of operations plans for situations of this nature. The shift to a virtual operations center ensured no disruption in Maine's ongoing COVID-19 response. Out of an abundance of caution, no staff are working from the MEMA building today. Plans to deep clean the affected areas of the building are underway.

At the outset of the pandemic, MEMA implemented safety protocols at the SEOC to help protect against the spread of COVID-19, including limiting the number of employees working in the SEOC, requiring employees to maintain six feet of distance whenever possible, enhancing cleaning efforts within the office and requiring temperature checks and hand sanitation for all individuals entering the SEOC. The MEMA offices are co-located in a larger building at 45 Commerce Drive with the Maine Department of Public Safety and the Maine Department of Labor.However, no employees of those Departments reported experiencing symptoms to Maine CDC. Measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 should be taken seriously regardless of the setting, including maintaining physical distance, staying home if you're not feeling well, and speaking to your health care provider if you experience symptoms consistent with COVID-19, such as shortness of breath, fever, and cough.

MEMA, Maine CDC Announce State's Shift to Virtual Emergency Operations Center After Seven Employees at Augusta Facility Exhibit COVID-19 Symptoms

1 month 2 weeks ago
Augusta, MAINE -The Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) announced today that the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC), located at MEMA in Augusta, has temporarily moved to fully virtual operations today after seven employees who worked at the site exhibited symptoms of COVID-19 overnight. MEMA and Maine CDC operations have not been disrupted. MEMA and Maine CDC have exercised continuity of operations plans for situations of this nature. The shift to a virtual operations center ensured no disruption in Maine's ongoing COVID-19 response. The employees three from MEMA, two from Maine CDC, and two National Guard members called out sick today after experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms overnight. The employees are being tested for COVID-19 and are being advised and monitored by Maine CDC. Their pending test results are expected within 24 hours. Maine CDC is also identifying people who had close contact with symptomatic employees and is advising them on appropriate precautions, including whether testing is necessary. MEMA Director Peter Rogers and Maine CDC Director, Dr. Nirav D. Shah, who regularly work out of MEMA's office in Augusta, have not been in close contact with the employees. Additionally, Governor Janet Mills, who participated in yesterday's media briefing which occurs at MEMA, has also not been in close contact with any of the individuals. Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew and Maine Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Heather Johnson, who have participated in recent press briefings, also have not been in close contact with any of the affected individuals. In the meantime, Director Rogers and Dr. Shah jointly decided to move the SEOC to fully virtual operations, meaning no employees will be present in the space today, out of an abundance of caution. As a result, both are working remotely today. At the outset of the pandemic, MEMA implemented safety protocols at the SEOC to help protect against the spread of the virus, including limiting the number of employees working in the SEOC, requiring employees to maintain six feet of distance whenever possible, enhancing cleaning efforts within the office, and requiring temperature checks and hand sanitation for all individuals entering the SEOC. The MEMA offices are co-located in a larger building at 45 Commerce Drive with the Maine Department of Public Safety and the Maine Department of Labor. However, given the office separations and limited interaction, Maine CDC believes at this time that there have not been close contacts with employees of these other departments. Measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 should be taken seriously regardless of the setting, including maintaining physical distance, staying home if you're not feeling well, and speaking to your health care provider if you experience symptoms consistent with COVID-19, such as shortness of breath, fever, and cough. As a result of today's shift to a virtual command center, today's daily media briefing will be held via Zoom. The briefing is scheduled for 2 p.m.

Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Delivers Cloth Face Coverings to Maine Association of Broadcasters for Distribution to Essential Media Workers

1 month 2 weeks ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE - To further protect the health and safety of essential employees in Maine, including members of the media, the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is providing 1900 cloth face coverings to the Maine Association of Broadcasters (MAB) for distribution to the state's broadcast media outlets. "Throughout this pandemic, Maine's essential workers on the frontlines have never stopped serving their fellow citizens. As we begin to safely restart Maines economy, we have an even greater responsibility to protect public facing workers, including members of the media who keep Maine people informed during these uncertain times," said Governor Mills. "Our administration will continue to distribute protective supplies to critical industries. This, combined with increased testing, is an important part of our overall plan to contain the virus and prevent further outbreaks." MEMA and the CDC continue to receive shipments of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for essential workers and are working to prioritize distribution of those shipments statewide. Approximately 631,521 pieces of PPE have been delivered through coordination between MEMA and Maine CDC to date. "MEMA has already distributed these face coverings to the Maine Association of Broadcasters and is working to distribute more personal protective equipment as we receive supplies to other essential employees, including grocery and food production, energy sectors and emergency services communications, as quickly as possible," said MEMA Director Peter Rogers. "It is our goal to marshal state and local emergency management agencies to orchestrate reliable distributions of supplies statewide, and I encourage all industries to work with their county to request the equipment they need to stay safe."

"Our colleagues in the media have played an important role in helping us share information about COVID-19 with Maine people," said Dr. Nirav D. Shah, Director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. "We are pleased that our partners at MEMA are helping broadcasters do what they can to limit exposure to the virus." The masks will be distributed by the Maine Association of Broadcasters to broadcast media outlet employees who are responsible for maintaining the operational continuity of stations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where social distancing is difficult to maintain, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. The masks can be routinely washed, depending on the frequency of use.

Essential industries seeking cloth face coverings or other PPE should contact their county emergency management agency. For additional information on Covid-19 and other state emergencies, please visit Maine.gov/MEMA, or visit MEMA on Facebook or Twitter.

Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Delivers Cloth Face Coverings to Maine Association of Broadcasters for Distribution to Essential Media Workers

1 month 3 weeks ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE - To further protect the health and safety of essential employees in Maine, including members of the media, the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is providing 1900 cloth face coverings to the Maine Association of Broadcasters (MAB) for distribution to the state's broadcast media outlets. "Throughout this pandemic, Maine's essential workers on the frontlines have never stopped serving their fellow citizens. As we begin to safely restart Maines economy, we have an even greater responsibility to protect public facing workers, including members of the media who keep Maine people informed during these uncertain times," said Governor Mills. "Our administration will continue to distribute protective supplies to critical industries. This, combined with increased testing, is an important part of our overall plan to contain the virus and prevent further outbreaks." MEMA and the CDC continue to receive shipments of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for essential workers and are working to prioritize distribution of those shipments statewide. Approximately 631,521 pieces of PPE have been delivered through coordination between MEMA and Maine CDC to date. "MEMA has already distributed these face coverings to the Maine Association of Broadcasters and is working to distribute more personal protective equipment as we receive supplies to other essential employees, including grocery and food production, energy sectors and emergency services communications, as quickly as possible," said MEMA Director Peter Rogers. "It is our goal to marshal state and local emergency management agencies to orchestrate reliable distributions of supplies statewide, and I encourage all industries to work with their county to request the equipment they need to stay safe."

"Our colleagues in the media have played an important role in helping us share information about COVID-19 with Maine people," said Dr. Nirav D. Shah, Director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. "We are pleased that our partners at MEMA are helping broadcasters do what they can to limit exposure to the virus." The masks will be distributed by the Maine Association of Broadcasters to broadcast media outlet employees who are responsible for maintaining the operational continuity of stations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where social distancing is difficult to maintain, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. The masks can be routinely washed, depending on the frequency of use.

Essential industries seeking cloth face coverings or other PPE should contact their county emergency management agency. For additional information on Covid-19 and other state emergencies, please visit Maine.gov/MEMA, or visit MEMA on Facebook or Twitter.

Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Responds to Nor'easter in Addition to Covid-19

2 months 4 weeks ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is working with Maine electric utilities to prioritize power restoration after a Nor'easter left more than one third of the state's electric utility customers without power. Wet, heavy snow blanketed the state beginning Thursday afternoon, causing numerous broken tree limbs, fallen power lines and vehicle accidents. "Given the pandemic that we are already dealing with, we recognize how important it is to get primary power restored to our hospitals, healthcare facilities, and food-distribution facilities, many of which are running on back-up sources of power," said MEMA Director Peter Rogers. "We also understand that many Mainers are observing the state's stay-at-home order, making electricity and telecommunications needs even more necessary."

MEMA is working with electric utilities to secure mutual assistance from other states to help speed up the power restoration process. The State Emergency Operations Center is operational and responding to resource needs of the county emergency management agencies related to Covid-19 as well as the snowstorm. "Given the widespread nature of the damage, we expect this to be a multi-day power restoration effort," said Rogers. "We know this is a difficult time for Mainers and we ask for patience as we work through this challenging event." Mainers are reminded to ensure that alternate heat and power sources are in proper working condition and properly installed. Those who are traveling should use extreme caution as roadways may still be snow covered.

Extra caution is urged when shoveling snow, as it is wet and heavy and may cause injuries if not handled properly. This includes:

- Pushing snow instead of lifting it

- Bending your knees and lifting with your legs

- Taking frequent breaks

- Taking care to avoid power lines when removing snow from rooftops

For additional information, please visit Maine.gov/MEMA, or visit MEMA on Facebook or Twitter.

Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Closely Watching Upcoming Wind Storm and Flood Threats

2 months 4 weeks ago
####Work Continues to Restore Power Following Last Week's Nor'easter and on Covid-19 Response

AUGUSTA, MAINE - Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is gearing up for yet another powerful storm that is expected to bring strong winds and heavy rain to the state, possibly causing additional power outages. This comes amid the ongoing efforts to restore power after a Nor'easter left about a third of the state's electrical customers without power last week. "We are monitoring this storm closely and working to get additional crews in place through mutual assistance agreements," said MEMA Director Peter Rogers. "MEMA staff continue to work on this Easter holiday and weve been talking with the National Weather Service, utilities and others to prepare for this challenging weather event thats heading our way." MEMA will continue to work with utilities to prioritize power restoration for critical services such as hospitals, healthcare facilities and food distribution facilities. The National Weather Service predicts damaging winds, especially along the coast. Rain combined with melting snow is expected to cause river and stream levels to rise, especially in northern and central Maine.

"We are in flood season, and these conditions are on our radar as well," said Rogers. "We have already experienced some flooding in Aroostook County due to the large amounts of snow in that region and the rain will only add to that threat." Mainers are reminded to ensure that alternate heat and power sources are in proper working condition and properly installed. Mainers should also remove objects in their yard that could take flight during strong winds. In anticipation of potential flooding, Mainers are reminded to take the following steps to protect their homes or businesses from flood damage:

- Be aware of hazards that can increase the potential for flooding - including flash flooding such as heavy rain, melting snow and ice jams.

- Know the flood prone areas in your community - including dam locations.

- Have a family evacuation/communications plan.

- Know where and how to seek shelter in the event of evacuation.

- Check with your insurance agent about flood insurance coverage; most homeowners insurance does not cover floods.

- Take steps to "flood proof" your home, such as elevating electronics, appliances and furniture, building a dam of sandbags, unplugging electronics and equipment and varnishing wood doors and floors.

- During the flood stay tuned to radio or TV to get the latest information or monitor a NOAA Weather radio.

- Pay attention to evacuation orders.

- Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams or areas at risk of flooding.

- DO NOT DRIVE ON FLOODED ROADWAYS or cross flowing streams, as the road underneath may be washed out.

- Be cautious when driving at night as it may be more difficult to recognize flood dangers.

The State Emergency Operations Center remains operational seven days a week and is responding to resource needs of the county emergency management agencies related to Covid-19 as well as storm events. For additional information, please visit Maine.gov/MEMA, or visit MEMA on Facebook or Twitter.

Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Responds to Nor'easter in Addition to Covid-19

3 months ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is working with Maine electric utilities to prioritize power restoration after a Nor'easter left more than one third of the state's electric utility customers without power. Wet, heavy snow blanketed the state beginning Thursday afternoon, causing numerous broken tree limbs, fallen power lines and vehicle accidents. "Given the pandemic that we are already dealing with, we recognize how important it is to get primary power restored to our hospitals, healthcare facilities, and food-distribution facilities, many of which are running on back-up sources of power," said MEMA Director Peter Rogers. "We also understand that many Mainers are observing the state's stay-at-home order, making electricity and telecommunications needs even more necessary."

MEMA is working with electric utilities to secure mutual assistance from other states to help speed up the power restoration process. The State Emergency Operations Center is operational and responding to resource needs of the county emergency management agencies related to Covid-19 as well as the snowstorm. "Given the widespread nature of the damage, we expect this to be a multi-day power restoration effort," said Rogers. "We know this is a difficult time for Mainers and we ask for patience as we work through this challenging event." Mainers are reminded to ensure that alternate heat and power sources are in proper working condition and properly installed. Those who are traveling should use extreme caution as roadways may still be snow covered.

Extra caution is urged when shoveling snow, as it is wet and heavy and may cause injuries if not handled properly. This includes:

- Pushing snow instead of lifting it

- Bending your knees and lifting with your legs

- Taking frequent breaks

- Taking care to avoid power lines when removing snow from rooftops

For additional information, please visit Maine.gov/MEMA, or visit MEMA on Facebook or Twitter.

Department of Homeland Security Releases Notice of Funding Opportunities for Preparedness Grant Programs -- Non-Profit Security Grant Applications are DUE APRIL 1, 2020

3 months 2 weeks ago
####Non-Profit Security Grant Applications are DUE APRIL 1, 2020 FEMA has announced the release of Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Notices of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for Department of Homeland Security (DHS) preparedness grant programs totaling nearly $1.8 billion. The grant programs provide funding to state, local, tribal and territorial governments, as well as transportation authorities, nonprofit organizations and the private sector, to improve the nation's readiness in preventing, protecting against, responding to, recovering from and mitigating terrorist attacks, major disasters and other emergencies. The grants reflect the Department's focus on funding for programs that address our nation's immediate security needs and ensure public safety in our communities.

For information and materials on the Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) including the State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) and the Non-profit Security Grant Program (NSGP) please visit our website at:

https://www.maine.gov/mema/grants/homeland-security-grant-program

####Non-Profit Security Grant Applications are DUE APRIL 1, 2020
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1 hour 34 minutes ago
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