JACKSON, Mich. – Consumers Energy is preparing for a large winter storm that is expected to hit the Great Lakes region with heavy snow, freezing temperatures, and damaging wind gusts that could affect Michigan later this week and into the weekend. This storm system is forecasted to begin late Thursday night and continue into Saturday. It could include winds over 60 mph, resulting in power outages, downed wires and other safety hazards.
“Consumers Energy customers should know we are all-hands-on-deck preparing for this storm. Crews are preparing trucks and essential materials right now to assist with any restoration efforts,” said Garrick Rochow, President and CEO of Consumers Energy. “We are ready and we’ll work as quickly and as safely as possible to restore any outages this storm may cause. We are grateful for our customers’ patience and understanding.”
To help the public prepare for what to do before, during and after a storm, we encourage people 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.
Wind chills on Saturday and Sunday are expected to be in the low single digits. Customers should call 2-1-1 if they are looking for help connecting to resources that offer assistance in your community, including warming centers. 2-1-1 is a free statewide service.
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 important storm safety tips in mind:
· Stay at least 25 feet away from downed wires and anything they are touching, keep children or pets away, and report the issue by calling 9-1-1 and Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050.
· 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.
· 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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