After the Ice Storm, How to Lend A Hand
The December 2013 winter ice storm has departed, leaving over 100,000 power outages. With bitter cold temperatures in the forecast, little melting will occur and increased winds may bring down more tree limbs and power lines.
Power utilities are applying all of their own and mutual aid resources to restoration, but caution that in some areas, power may be off into Christmas Day and perhaps for several days. The hardest hit areas include Hancock, Washington, Waldo, Knox, Penobscot, Kennebec and Androscoggin Counties.
Due to a lack of heat and power, individuals and families may be forced to leave their homes. Emergency shelters and warming centers are being set up across the hardest hit areas.
For information about assistance and resources in your community, contact 211.
How you can help
- Despite your generous instinct to "do something to help," it is easy to make matters worse by rushing to the scene (called "self-deploying") or collecting items for which there is no storage or distribution system.
- Wait for instructions from County or Town offices or local organizations in the impacted areas. Emergency response will determine what is needed both for volunteers and supplies, then put out a call for assistance. This may take a few hours or a few days.
Be Ready to Volunteer
- Register with VolunteerMaine.org as a Disaster Service Volunteer. Create your free volunteer account and "Edit Disaster Profile" with your skills and expertise. Be sure to include any certificates or relevant training where appropriate.
- Already registered with VolunteerMaine.org? Log in and "Edit Your Profile" with contact information and "Edit Disaster Profile" with your skills and expertise. Be sure to include any certificates or relevant training where appropriate.
Donate for Relief and Recovery
- Cash is the preferred method because it offers voluntary agencies the most flexibility in obtaining the most-needed resources and pumps money into the local economy to help businesses recover as well.
- Remember, unsolicited donated goods such as used clothing, miscellaneous household items, and mixed or perishable foodstuffs require helping agencies to redirect valuable resources away from providing services to sort, package, transport, warehouse, and distribute items that may not meet the needs of disaster survivors.