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State Continues to Monitor Extreme Cold

Contact: Ron Leix, MSP/EMHSD Public Information Officer, (517) 242-5631
Agency: State Police

Issued: Jan. 6, 2014

LANSING, Mich. – The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) remains activated to monitor the historically low temperatures and wind chills impacting much of the state. The SEOC was activated at 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 5, to actively work with local communities and emergency management partners to ensure they have all the resources they need to respond to the winter storm and low temps.

The National Weather Service forecasts statewide temperatures will hover around 0 degrees with wind chills at 25 below or colder through tomorrow.

The SEOC is partially activated with key emergency management personnel from essential state agencies monitoring the hazardous winter weather conditions. Needs will be continually assessed and appropriate action taken as warranted to protect public health and safety.

“The protection of the public health and safety of the citizens is our primary concern,” said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD). “The SEOC is in ongoing communication with local officials and we will use all resources at our disposal to provide support to communities as necessary.”

As of 6 p.m., Cass and Shiawassee counties and the city of Lansing have declared a “local state of emergency.” A local emergency declaration activates a community’s response and recovery emergency operations plans.

To stay safe during cold weather:

  • Stay indoors if possible. If you must go outside, wear protective gear--such as hats, mittens and gloves--in addition to a warm coat. Always protect your lungs with a scarf.
  • Watch for signs of frostbite, which include loss of feeling or pale appearance of fingers, toes or face.
  • Watch for signs of hypothermia, which include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, drowsiness and exhaustion.
  • Understand the hazards of wind chill. As wind speed increases, heat is carried away from a person’s body more rapidly and could lead to severe hypothermia.
  • Remove clothing if it gets damp or wet. Wet clothing can make you more prone to hypothermia.
  • Weather-proof doors and windows to trap heat inside your home.
  • Check heating units. Poorly operating or damaged heating units can release carbon monoxide gas. Test carbon monoxide detectors for proper operation and battery life.
  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who are at risk and may need additional assistance.
  • Watch pets closely and keep them indoors when possible. Animals can suffer from hypothermia, frostbite and other cold weather injuries.
  • Check and restock your emergency preparedness kit. If you don’t have a kit, make one.
  • Minimize travel and stay off the roads if possible. If travel is necessary, keep a full tank of gas and an emergency preparedness kit in the vehicle. Put warm clothing--such as gloves, blankets and hats--in your kit in case you become stranded.

Citizens who need extreme cold assistance or guidance are encouraged to call 211. For more information about being prepared before, during and after an emergency or disaster, go to the MSP/EMHSD’s emergency preparedness website at www.michigan.gov/beprepared or Twitter page at www.twitter.com/MichEMHS.

For road conditions, call or visit Michigan State Police’s Winter Travel Advisory Hotline at 800-381-8477 or www.michigan.gov/roadconditions, or visit the Michigan Department of Transportation’s road updates at www.michigan.gov/drive or follow them on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MichiganDOT.

The SEOC is the Emergency Operations Center for the State of Michigan located in Lansing, and is overseen by the MSP/EMHSD. The SEOC coordinates response and recovery efforts of state agencies and local government. The SEOC is staffed by members of state agencies for decision making and information coordination of disasters or emergencies in the State of Michigan.

 

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