SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- When a storm like Sandy delivers heavy rain and strong winds, safety is always a concern for first responders.

Lieutenant Robb Couture of the South Portland Fire Department is offering a few tips to prevent injuries and damage to your homes and cars. He says you should avoid going into a flooded basement if electrical outlets or cords are underwater. You should also secure or bring in any objects in your yard that could be carried by the strong winds. Finally, Couture says it's important to only call 911 if you have an emergency.

"Obviously we want to respond to emergencies first," Couture said. "We know the call volume is going to be up there. We handle it the way we handle it every day, really. It's going to be one call at a time."

Central Maine Power is also asking people to stay away from any downed power lines from the heavy rain and wind.

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