Quick – what is a phrase you don’t want to hear, especially on a holiday weekend? I’ll go first: BOMB CYCLONE. Oof. Weather forecasts don’t look good for the end of this week (well unless you like snow and bomb cyclones – then they look great in parts of the state!)

Bomb Cyclone. The gift no one actually wants, but many may get. Much like fruitcake.

But even for the snow lovers, no one likes being without power and the storms predicted to hit the Great Lakes state have the potential for high winds that could cause tree damage and power outages, along with a foot of snow. We’ve done a lot of work over the last few years to add technology and cleared thousands of miles of trees, to reduces the number and length of outages, but even the sturdiest oaks can topple in 60-70 mph winds.

Okay. So, the question is: How does one prepare for a “bomb cyclone”? I am going to go ahead and say, we proceed like we would with any storm that might cause widespread power outages. Check out the content below to make sure you’re prepared for whatever the bomb cyclone might bring.

Stock your Emergency Kit

Make sure you’re ready for the unexpected with an emergency kit stocked with the following

  • Flashlight
  • Cell Phone Charger and extra charge bank
  • Radio
  • Batteries
  • Water (one gallon per person, per day)
  • Fill your tub to have water for flushing toilets (yes, this works!)
  • First-Aid kit
  • Daily medications
  • Non-perishable food (that doesn’t require electricity to prepare)
  • Manual can opener
  • Cash
  • Gasoline for your vehicle and generator if you have one

Safety Tips for When the Storm Hits

Keep these tips in mind to stay safe when the storm hits:

  1. Downed Wires – Stay at least 25 feet away from a downed wire and anything it is touching. Be especially cautious when clearing snow – water can be a conductor and expand the reach of electricity. Call 9-1-1 first, and then us at 800-477-5050 to report a downed wire.
  2. Generator Safety – Have your generator properly installed by a licensed electrician and located in a well-ventilated area. Never operate a generator in your home, basement, garage or other enclosed area.
  3. Stay Connected – Purchase a portable charger, vehicle charger or power bank to make sure it is charged before the storm hits.
  4. Buddy Up – Make sure to check on your neighbors – especially those who are elderly or have special medical needs.
  5. Blow Out the Candles – Candles can be a major fire hazard. Use flashlights instead.
  6. Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning – 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.
  7. Warming Centers – We will work with the Red Cross and local communities to set up warming centers, if needed. You can find your nearest warming center by calling 2-1-1.

Keeping your house and yourself warm when the power is out

Consider leaving your house for periods of time during a power outage to warm up at a public place like a shopping mall or a library. If leaving home isn’t an option, or if public locations are closed due to the holidays, keep your home warm with these four simple tips:

  1. Curtain Call – Shut the curtains at night but open them during the day to let the sunlight in.
  2. Stop the Drafts – Use draft stoppers (or rolled up towels) to block drafts coming in under doorways and along windows. Shut the Front Door – And all other doors too. Close doors to unused rooms to keep the heat contained.
  3. Camp In – Use a tent to create an enclosed area to trap body heat for overnight outages.
  4. Layer Up – Pull out the blankets, don your fuzziest socks, hats and gloves and wear multiple layers (Joey Tribbiani, anyone?)
  5. Call 2-1-1 to find available local warming centers.
  6. Limit Time Outside for Humans and Pets – If we get the amount of snow predicted, it sure will be tempting to get out there and play. However, with power out it may be harder to dry off and warm up.

Other important information

Due to the number of questions we are receiving during this storm, we are unable to respond to customers via our social channels. Visit our outage center for the most up-to-date information. You can also call us at 800-477-5050. We aim to be as accurate as possible with restoration time targets, but large storms often create a lot of factors that are hard to estimate – especially at first. Sometimes we realize the damage is worse than initially thought when crews arrive on scene or outages are so widespread it can take us longer to move between sites. We appreciate your patience and understanding if your estimated time of restoration changes midway through our efforts.

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