The American Red Cross, Bangor Water District, Central Maine Power, and Maine Emergency Management Agency offer the following tips for dealing with the aftermath of the storm:
Stay home: All area shelters also rely on regular power, and there is always the danger of a shelter’s lights and heat going out. Most of the time you’ll be better off staying in your own home and bundling up. That way you have access to additional clothing and bedding, and you don’t run the risk of an accident while traveling on the icy roads or becoming stranded due to the driving conditions.
Make use of other heat sources: If you have a gas stove, it can be used for heat. Also make use of fireplaces and wood stoves, or go to a friend or relative’s home where these heat sources are available. If you use a portable heater, like the ones used by hunters or people fishing, make sure you use them on a hard, flat surface, keep flammable material away from them, and don’t leave them running while you sleep. Never use charcoal fires indoors.
Candles can provide light, but they can also start fires. Children should be closely supervised if candles are in use.
Preserve your heat: Avoid opening doors and windows.
To stay warm, choose an inside room or one with few windows. Close the doors and cover the windows with blankets. Walk around the room to stay warm, but don’t overdo. Layer your clothing, wearing pajamas or long underwear beneath your clothes.
Wearing socks or mittens and covering your head will keep you warmer.
If you are in a cold house, you should eat more food than normal to help stay warm. Eat a lot of small, nutritious meals throughout the day, rather than two or three big meals.
Bring your pets inside: Animals should not be exposed to extreme conditions.
If your heat goes out, turn on your water taps a trickle. This will reduce the likelihood of pipes freezing.
If your pipes freeze, DO NOT use a flame implement such as a candle or blow torch to thaw them. This greatly increases the risk of fire.
Don’t open freezers or refrigerators unless absolutely necessary. Food will keep longer this way in the event of a prolonged outage. Use the most perishable foods first.
Stay clear of downed power lines. Even a line that appears dead can be dangerous.
Check on elderly friends, neighbors and family members. The elderly are particularly prone to hypothermia.
Listen to local radio stations for updates on power restoration efforts. Keep flashlights, batteries, candles and matches available.
For further information, contact the Red Cross at 941-2903.