Michigan State Police encourages Michiganders to prepare for upcoming severe weather

(WLUC photo)
Published: Dec. 22, 2022 at 8:04 AM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Travel is expected to be dangerous throughout Michigan due to severe weather expected to start on Thursday. Michigan State Police (MSP) is encouraging residents to be flexible with travel plans and take necessary preparedness measures to help ensure their safety.

“Winter weather can be highly unpredictable, and we encourage residents to start their travel early, if possible, or delay if plans are flexible,” said Capt. Kevin Sweeney, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and commander of the MSP’s Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division.

The National Weather Service is forecasting the potential for blizzard conditions starting Thursday and is expected to last through Saturday with wind gusts between 40-50 mph and gusts over 60 mph possible at times Friday into Saturday.

MSP recommends residents have a supply of essential items ready in advance to use during emergencies such as a power outage or being stranded in a vehicle.

“The most important thing residents can do to stay safe during extreme weather is to be ready ahead of time by equipping their homes and vehicles with basic emergency preparedness items and developing an emergency plan,” said Capt. Sweeney.

Here are winter preparedness tips from MSP:

  • Develop a 72-hour emergency supply kit that includes essential items a three-day supply of food and water, a battery-powered or hand-crank weather radio, blankets, flashlights with extra batteries, and emergency contact information.
  • Know the difference between a Winter Storm Watch and a Winter Storm Warning.  A winter Storm Watch means a winter storm is possible in your area; a Winter Storm Warning means a winter storm is occurring or will soon occur in your area.
  • Identify a safe alternative heat source and supply of fuel in the event of a power outage.
  • Listen to the radio and TV for weather reports and emergency information.
  • Stay inside during winter storms.  If you must go outside, wear several layers of lightweight clothing, a hat, and gloves to prevent loss of body heat. Cover your mouth to protect your lungs.
  • For those requiring oxygen, ensure you have a backup power source in case of long-term power outages.

Vehicle preparedness tips from MSP:

  • Carry an emergency supply kit in your vehicle with essential items such as salt, sand, a shovel, food, and blankets.
  • Ensure your car has the proper mix of antifreeze and water in the cooling system and that windshield washing fluid is topped off.
  • Keep tires at the car manufacturer’s recommended pressure and routinely check tire pressure during cold weather.
  • Keep the fuel tank near full to prevent freezing of the fuel line.
  • When traveling, let someone know your destination, route, and expected arrival time.

More information about how to stay safe during winter weather can be found by taking a look at the MDHHS Cold Health and Safety Fact Sheet.

More on winter preparedness:

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