Release Date: 12-28-2016Bangor and Presque Isle, Maine — As the first major blizzard of the 2016-2017 winter season treks toward Maine, Emera Maine’s Storm Response Team has already begun preparations to ensure the utility is ready for whatever comes our way. More than a foot of snow, ice, and strong gusty winds means power outages are possible, so field crews, customer service, dispatch, and other personnel are gearing up for what could be a major impact to the electrical system.“The combination of ice, snow, strong winds, and treacherous travel conditions are all areas of concern with this storm,” said Brad Flannery, Manager of Line & Meter Operations. “Based on historical data from previous storms with similar conditions, we are preparing for a company-wide response to this blizzard.”Advance preparations include moving internal crews to central locations ahead of the storm, fueling up trucks, snow sleds and ATV’s, stocking up on storm kits and other supplies for field crews, and more.As always, customers are reminded to be mindful of the following safety hazards:-- NEVER touch a downed power line or a tree in contact with one. In recent storms there were reports of customers moving lines out of the way and driving over the top of them. This should never be attempted under any circumstance;-- Anyone using alternate heat sources and generators is reminded to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines at all times;-- Always be sure generators and space heaters are well ventilated;-- Generators should be professionally installed to ensure they do not back-feed into the electrical system putting both the public and our employees at risk.The Storm Response Team will continue to monitor the storm’s track and modify staffing plans as needed. Customers can do their part by planning ahead as well; helpful tips on how to prepare for a power outage are available on our website.Customers can get the latest outage information and view our live outage and restoration map at emeramaine.com. Outages can be reported online or by calling our Customer Contact Center at 1-855-EMERA-11 (1-855-363-7211) or 207-973-2000.