Preparing For Winter in Michigan

Winter in Michigan can be fun for those who enjoy outdoor activities like skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, ice fishing and more, but dangerous winter storms also occur to make winter in Michigan hazardous. A little preparation can go a long way in turning a dangerous situation into a safe one.

The first step we can all take is to stay informed about the weather and make our plans for work, travel or recreation accordingly. Tune to NOAA Weather Radio or check weather reports on local television or radio.

Preparing for a Winter Storm

  • At home, keep handy a battery-powered flashlight, extra batteries, radio, extra food that requires little or no preparation, and bottled water.
  • Make sure you have extra blankets and lots of warm clothes.
  • Be aware of potential fire and carbon monoxide hazards if you are planning to use an emergency heating source such as a fireplace or space heater.
  • Emergency generators with sufficient capacity can temporarily operate your furnace and refrigerator and other essential items when power is lost.
  • To save heat, close off unneeded rooms, cover windows at night and block cracks under outside doors with towels.
  • Eat right; maintaining adequate food and water intake makes it possible for your body to store and use energy for producing its own heat.
  • In a vehicle, keep blankets, additional warm clothing, windshield scraper, booster cables, flashlight, battery-operated radio, first aid kit and high energy snacks.
  • One of the best things to keep with you when traveling is a cellular phone so you can call for emergency help if needed.
  • If you get stranded in your vehicle, attach a brightly colored cloth to your antenna or somewhere on the vehicle to attract attention. Run the engine about 10 minutes each hour for heat. Open your window slightly, for fresh air, and make sure your exhaust pipe isn’t blocked with snow. Turn on your emergency flashers when the engine is running in order to attract attention. Exercise by moving arms, legs, fingers and toes to keep blood circulating and to keep warm.

Always make sure you have winter emergency supplies at home and in your vehicle.  Dress appropriately for the weather, no matter if you’re traveling a few city blocks or many miles. Never take any unnecessary chances with winter weather.

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