Ice Ice Baby. Nope – I’m not jamming to the Vanilla Ice song (although that sounds fun). I’m looking at the weather forecast in Michigan for later this week. The forecasts include words like heavy snow, sleet, wind and ice, depending on where you live. A little bit of ice can make a big impact on roads, trees and powerlines. Just how big of an impact, you ask?
Nuisance: .25” or less – While lighter accumulations aren’t a huge cause for concern, travel can still be extremely dangerous even with a light glazing. Scattered power outages may occur.
Disruptive: .25 – .5” – At this slightly higher amount more significant damage can occur, especially to trees and power lines.
Severe: .5”+ – Widespread accumulations of over ½ inch can cause severe impacts. With this much ice, severe tree and power line damage can be seen, and power outages may last several days.
The entire Consumers Energy team is ready, and we will be busy the next few days preparing trucks and stocking them with materials. While we won’t know the actual impact until the storm hits (or doesn’t), there are things you can do to make sure you and your family are prepared for whatever Mother Nature brings. And no, I’m not suggesting you run to the nearest grocery store and clear the shelves of milk, bread and water. But now would be a good time to start paying attention to the weather forecast in your area and taking the necessary steps to prepare for the potential winter weather predicted for later this week.
Get Prepared: Stock your Emergency Kit
Make sure you’re ready for the unexpected with an emergency kit stocked with the following
- Cell Phone Charger and extra charge bank
- 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
- Gasoline for your vehicle and generator if you have one
SAFETY TIPS FOR WHEN THE STORM HITS
Our crews are preparing before the storm hits. This preparation includes “staging” crews – or having them travel to the areas that are expected to be most impacted by the severe weather. As soon as it is safe to do so, our crews will start restoring power.
Keep these tips in mind to stay safe when the storm hits:
- 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.
- 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.
- Stay Connected – Purchase a portable charger, vehicle charger or power bank to make sure it is charged before the storm hits.
- Buddy Up – Make sure to check on your neighbors – especially those who are elderly or have special medical needs.
- Blow Out the Candles – Candles can be a major fire hazard. Use flashlights instead.
- 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.
We are unable to respond to customers via our social channels. Visit our outage center for the most up-to-date information, including estimated times of restoration. You can also call us at 800-477-5050.
To prepare for a potential freezing rain/ice event, check out this video:
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