Preparing for Wednesday’s winter storm in the Mid-Michigan area

Published: Feb. 21, 2023 at 3:34 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Old man winter will visit the Mid-Michigan area on Wednesday and Thursday and with that will come hazardous conditions.

As first responders gear up for possible car accidents and power outages, the State of Michigan’s MiReady website has tips on how people can prepare their homes and cars before the snow, sleet, and ice crash through the area. According to the website, freezing rain is rain that freezes when it hits the ground and leaves ice on the roadways. Sleet is defined as rain that turns into ice pellets before it hits the ground.

Preparing your home:

Create an emergency winter preparedness kit for your home that includes the following items:

  • Water, at least three gallons of water per person
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food per person
  • Prescribed medications
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Pet supplies
  • A complete change of clothing and footwear for each person
  • Bedding
  • Important family documents
  • Extra clothes and blankets
  • Keep on hand items for your pets. Animals feel the effects of wind chill. Be sure to have suitable shelter with food and water.
  • Winterize your home by weather-stripping and insulating walls, attics, and basements. It will not only allow your house to maintain heat but extends the life of your fuel supply, which can save money on heating costs.
  • Insulating pipes that run through your walls and attic can help prevent them from bursting during the winter season.
  • Know where the water valves are located in your home in case you have to shut them off to prevent pipes from bursting.
  • Clean gutters to prevent ice dams from forming. Roof ice dams can cause water build-up leading to interior damage.
  • Clear storm drains along the curb to enable water to drain. If plugged, water has the potential to go into low-lying areas and flood basements.
  • Have a backup heating source. A backup heating source will prevent pipes from freezing and keep your home warm in the event of an outage. Make sure that gas generators or fuel-based heating systems are vented outside to prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
  • Install battery-operated CO detectors near every sleeping area. CO poisoning is most prevalent when furnaces are turned on to fight cold winter temperatures or when people rely on portable generators for electricity during outages.

Preparing your vehicle:

  • Winterize your vehicle by late fall. This includes having the proper mix of antifreeze and water in the cooling system, topping off windshield washing solution, and replacing worn windshield wipers.
  • Check your tires to make sure you have an adequate amount of tread for the winter. An adequate tire tread will improve the safety of your vehicle on the road. Make sure to check tire pressure regularly throughout the winter season.
  • It’s good practice to have your radiator system, engine, and heating system checked every fall before winter comes. Also check brakes, brake fluid, oil, and car battery as well.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full at all times during the winter to avoid fuel lines freezing up and getting ice buildup in your tank.
  • Keep an emergency preparedness kit in your vehicle stocked in the event you get stranded or stuck.

Your car should always be equipped with a container of emergency supplies. Keep the following items in your kit:

  • Small battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries
  • Cellular phone and charger
  • Windshield scraper
  • Jumper cables
  • Shovel
  • Extra blankets and clothes
  • Flares
  • Non-perishable food and bottled water
  • first aid kit

For other ways to prepare for a winter storm, visit Michigan’s MiReady website.

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