SKOWHEGAN — Central Maine is better prepared for pending disasters than officials were 25 years ago, according to Somerset County Emergency Management Director Michael Smith.

“In preparation for the snowmelt each spring, the River Flow Advisory Committee holds sessions to review the snowpack, ice melt and the potential for spring flooding well in advance of the spring thaw,” Smith said. “We also have better databases and resource lists from each community in the event that response is needed from a disaster. We have also developed a better relationship with all of the first responders within our areas while planning for major disasters.”

In September 1987 the Maine Civil Defense and Public Safety Agency became the Maine Emergency Management Agency. Today, the emergency agency has offices in each of the state’s 16 counties and local emergency management directors.

There also are emergency action plans, hazard mitigation plans, emergency operations centers and staffing in each of the counties. There also is better coordination with the National Weather Service, NextEra Energy and the River Flow Advisory Committee.

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