MSP Caution on High Winds

State Police Encourage Michiganders to Stay Safe During
High Winds and Possible Power Outages Today

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                                       May 5, 2018

LANSING MI. With the National Weather Service (NWS) forecasting strong winds with gusts up to 60 mph across portions of Michigan’s Lower-Peninsula today, the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) is encouraging residents and visitors to stay safe and prepare for possible power outages.

“High winds and falling tree branches could knock down power lines, meaning areas could be without power for a length of time,” said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of MSP/EMHSD. “It’s important that you report power outages and any downed power lines in your area to your utility company. If you do see downed lines, assume it is live and stay at least 25 feet away.”

The NWS has issued a high wind warning for much of the southern half of the Lower-Peninsula today and predicts winds will diminish steadily through the mid to late afternoon hours.

Before for a power outage:

  • Fill plastic containers with water and place them in the refrigerator and freezer. Cold water bottles will help keep food cold during a power outage and can also be used for drinking water.
  • Check with your physician or pharmacist about any medication that needs to be refrigerated. It is important to know how long medication is safe in the refrigerator without power.
  • Make a plan to prepare for family members with disabilities or who have ill health.
  • Try to keep gas tanks at least half full. If the power goes out, gas stations may be unavailable.
  • Have extra cash available. ATMs will not work without electricity.
  • Keep a key to the house with you when away from home. The garage will not open if the power is out.

During a power outage:

  • Use only flashlights or emergency lighting. Never use candles during a blackout or power outage due to fire risk.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed to keep the contents inside as fresh as possible. If you must eat food, check it carefully for signs of spoilage.
  • Turn off or disconnect appliances and electronics. The return of power may cause surges that can damage them.
  • If it is hot outside, move to the lowest level of your home, wear lightweight, light-colored clothing, and drink water.
  • If it is cold outside, dress in warm clothing and layers, keep doors shut and never use the stove or charcoal as a source of heat.
  • Use extreme caution when driving.
  • Do not call 911 to ask about the power outage. Listen to a battery powered radio for updates.
  • Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning by not using grills, unvented gas or kerosene heaters, generators or ovens and stoves in the house.

After a power outage:

  • Throw away food that has been exposed to temperatures more than 40 degrees for two hours or more, or if they have unusual color, odor or texture. Remember: When in doubt, throw it out!
  • Report downed lines. Stay away. Stay safe!

To learn more about being prepared before, during and after severe weather, follow the MSP/EMHSD on Twitter at @MichEMHS or visit www.michigan.gov/miready.

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