Consumers Energy is preparing for a large winter storm that is expected to hit the lower peninsula with snow, freezing rain, and strong wind gusts starting Wednesday afternoon, potentially resulting in power outages, downed wires, and other safety hazards.
The Consumers Energy Storm Restoration Team has been monitoring this developing storm for several days and is ready to respond. Crews are being staged ahead of this event in areas where we expect the greatest damage. Consumers Energy is also preparing trucks and essential materials needed to assist with any restoration efforts.
To help the public prepare for what to do before, during and after a storm, we encourage customers to visit www.ConsumersEnergy.com/OutageCenter for helpful tips. Here customers also can visit the online outage map, report an outage and sign up to receive power restoration updates. Customers should also download the Consumers Energy app, and visit the Consumers Energy blog for additional information about this storm and important safety tips.
With the forecasts calling for freezing rain and strong winds, there is the potential for downed wires. Customers should stay at least 25 feet away from downed wires and anything they are touching, keep children and pets away, and report the issue by calling 9-1-1 and Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050.
Some preparation tips for potential severe weather include:
· Charge all electronic devices. It’s advised to have an emergency battery or charging station available for use during an outage.
· Have an emergency kit that includes flashlights and extra batteries, water, canned food and blankets. Be prepared with enough medication, baby supplies and pet food if applicable. A battery-operated radio is also a good idea.
· Unplug sensitive electronics like TVs, computers and printers. Turn power strips off.
Consumers Energy also urges the public to keep these other important storm safety tips in mind:
· A portable generator should be placed at least 25 feet away from any doors, windows or fresh air intakes. Never operate a generator inside your home, garage, basement or enclosed area. Proper ventilation is critical.
· In addition to moving your generator outdoors and away from your home doors and intakes, don’t run your vehicles in a garage or use your gas stove for heat. If you have a fireplace, ensure the flue is open and only use if it’s been cleaned and serviced this year.
· Be alert to crews working along slick roads. Drivers should slow down or stop and wait for oncoming traffic to clear so they safely can go past workers on roadsides.
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