BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Emera Maine is preparing its crews for the upcoming snow storm and is reminding everyone on how to stay safe around storm damage, like downed trees and power lines.
Wind speeds are anticipated to be anywhere between 50 and 60 mph -- snow fall could accumulate to six inches or more, some areas seeing over one foot of snow. "The winds are always a concern for us" Emera Maine's Communication specialist Bob Potts said. "We are cautiously optimistic that it won't be as bad as we first thought".
Potts wants everyone to stay safe during the upcoming storm -- especially around downed power lines. "Anytime that you come across a downed power line, or a tree maybe laying down across a downed power line" Potts said. "Stay far, far away -- there's no way to know by just looking at it if it's energized or not". During the last storm, Emera Maine crews saw some "very disturbing and very dangerous" things -- "Some folks were picking up downed lines with their bare hands" Potts said. "Driving their cars over downed power lines, which is very dangerous". If you come across a downed line or tree, you should call Emera Maine or your local power company.
Potts is also reminding drivers to steer clear of utility vehicles when crews are out working on lines or other storm damage. "Slow down and give nice wide berth and give the guys a chance to work safely" Potts said. He also mentioned that keeping driveways cleared and sanded, if possible, also help crews while they are out working.
Emera Maine is anticipating power outages in the area -- he is urging customers to remember to be patient while crews work to restore power. "Especially in these kinds of storms -- we cant necessarily send our crews up into buckets with 50-60mph winds". Potts said. "There are times that we literally have to wait out the storm and send guys out for restoration when its safe to do so".
"Safety is on the forefront of everything that we do first, and beyond that we will just try to get everyone restored as quickly as we are able to" Potts said."Stay safe and look out for one another".
In addition to storm damage safety, the Maine Emergency Management Agency, MEMA, is also encouraging everyone to do the following before the storm:
- Making a Family Communications Plan. Your family may not be together during a storm, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.
- Obtaining a NOAA Weather Radio which broadcasts alerts and warnings directly from the NWS for all hazards.
- Subscribing to Emergency and Safety messages at MainePrepares.com.
- Downloading FEMA’s Be Smart. Know Your Alerts and Warnings for a summary of notifications at: www.ready.gov/prepare. Free smart phone apps, such as those available from FEMA and the American Red Cross, provide information about finding shelters, providing first aid, and seeking assistance for recovery.
- Bringing pets/companion animals inside during winter weather and moving other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.
As well as have these items readily available:
- Rock salt or other ice-melt material for walkways.
- Sand to improve traction.
- Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment.
- Adequate clothing and blankets to keep warm.
And these items in your vehicle:
- A shovel
- Windshield scraper and small broom
- Battery powered radio
- Extra batteries
- Snack food
- Extra hats, socks and mittens
- First aid kit with pocket knife
- Necessary medications
- Tow chain or rope
- Road salt and sand
- Booster cables
- Emergency flares
- Fluorescent distress flag
For a complete list from MEMA, click here.