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MEMA Home > Programs> Communication> News > Maine Coastal Communities get Hurricane-Ready

Maine Coastal Communities get Hurricane-Ready


June 3, 2009


MEMA holds Hurricane Readiness Course for Maine Coastal Communities

This two-day training course was held May 27th and 28th at the Schoodic Education and Research Consortium in Acadia National Park, Hancock County. 36 Emergency Managers and coastal officials attended the training, from along the whole coast of Maine -– York, Maine to Washington County. Attendees ranged from Police Chiefs, Harbor Masters and Public Works Directors to County EMA Directors and County Commissioners.

The course is a new FEMA developed-training, offered for the first time in Maine. It was taught by Mike Grant, Dwane Hubert and Beth Barton of MEMA, along with special meteorological input from John Jensenius of the Gray National Weather Service Forecast Office. The course came just in time for the Atlantic Coast’s Hurricane Season (June 1 to November 30).

The main objective of the course was to assist Coastal Communities in developing a Hurricane Readiness Checklist that would allow them to be prepared for a Hurricane hitting the Maine Coast. Feedback from the course was overwhelmingly positive, as attendees worked together to develop or improve their own checklists and plans, and look at regional solutions to hurricane response. Based on the positive response, MEMA hopes to offer the course at least annually, as a “tune-up” for hurricane season.

The Hurricane Readiness Checklist covers pre-season preparations all the way through the clean up and re-entry to areas hit by the storm. Some actions recommended, depending on the size of the community, are as follows:

Pre-Season Actions

  • Identify local Public Information Officer
  • Update Continuity of Operations Plan
  • Pre-identify vulnerable properties
  • Test back-up communications
  • Renew public education
  • Identify ham radio operators with equipment

120 Hours Pre-Landfall

  • Contact contractors
  • Establish/Set-up/Open Emergency Operations Center (EOC)
  • Test equipment
  • Initiate an Event Log
  • Idenitfy potential risk areas

72 Hours Pre-Landfall

  • Address personnel management issues such as shift planning and scheduled leave
  • Address food and staff logistics
  • Make contact with apecial interest groups
  • Mobilize and pre-position public safety resources

48-36 Hours Pre-Landfall

  • Activate traffic control
  • Determine phased evacuation
  • Conduct EOC briefings
  • Identify shelters to be opened

24 Hours Pre-Landfall

  • Pre-deploy traffic control resources
  • Review non-response policy -- when will it be too dangerous to response (45 mph winds)


  • Plan for post landfall
    • Debris management
    • Reconfirm equipment resources
    • Damage Assessments
    • Mutual aid agreements


  • Mobilize and dispatch public works crews
  • Test water and sewer facilities.
  • Identify resource requirements
  • Establish and communicate re-entry timeline (when will evacuees be allowed back into their homes)

For more information about hurricane planning, contact Beth Barton at MEMA: To learn more about hurricanes in Maine, and preparedness steps that individuals and families can take, visit MainePrepares.



Beth Barton, MEMA


Last update: 07/20/10