Prepare For Winter Storm Threatening Upper Peninsula

Contact: Ron Leix, MSP/EMHSD Public Information Officer, 517-336-6464
Agency: State Police

Issued: Nov. 10, 2014

LANSING. The Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) encourages Michigan citizens and visitors to prepare in advance for an early season severe winter storm expected to impact the Upper Peninsula this afternoon through Wednesday morning.

The National Weather Service is forecasting strong winds and up to a foot of heavy snow throughout most of the Upper Peninsula, with the higher elevations in the central and western areas potentially seeing two feet.  The heaviest snow is expected tonight and Tuesday.

These conditions will severely impact travel throughout northern Michigan and may cause sporadic power outages.

Anyone in the path of this weather system is strongly encouraged to make alternative plans in case weather conditions disrupt daily routines. Preparations include charging cell phones and other devices in case power is interrupted, evaluating whether driving is necessary, and gathering essential supplies for your car and home in case they are needed.

“Now is the time to prepare for this winter storm,” said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD.  “That means checking preparedness kits to ensure you have enough supplies to last three days per person. Travel may not be possible right away due to the heavy snow and strong winds.”

The public is encouraged to monitor local news media for up-to-date weather reports and local emergency information.

Winter Travel Advisories

Motorists should take extra precautions when stopping and driving in winter weather. Remember to do all of your braking before the turn is made and take the proper line of travel through the turn to reduce the potential for a skid to occur.  If your vehicle begins to skid, let off the throttle and brakes and use a quick hand-over-hand steering technique to turn the front tires in the direction you want to go.

Safe winter weather travel tips:

  • Check the weather before leaving for a destination. If the weather forecast looks dangerous, reschedule or postpone the driving trip.
  • Keep tires at the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended pressure and routinely check tire pressure during cold weather.
  • Keep windshield solvent at full strength and make sure the reservoir is full, and keep new wiper blades on front and rear wipers, if so equipped.
  • Wash your vehicle for better visibility to other drivers, and remove ice and snow from all lights, windows and the license plate before driving.
  • Periodically check all lights and replace when necessary.
  • Keep an emergency preparedness kit in your vehicle (e.g., a hand-crank flashlight and radio, cell phone charger, windshield scraper, emergency contact list, blanket, “Help” signs, jumper cables, tow strap, fire extinguisher, cat litter or sand for better tire traction, shovels, flares, first aid kit, bottled water and non-perishable, high-energy foods).

Michigan weather is unpredictable any time of year. If you are stranded in a winter storm, do not leave your vehicle. Stay with the vehicle and wait for help.

Travelers are encouraged to go to www.michigan.gov/roadconditions and www.michigan.gov/drive to check road conditions before traveling.  Road conditions are also available by calling the MSP Travel Hotline at 1-800-381-8477.  The MSP/EMHSD asks that you view these websites or call the Travel Hotline rather than calling your local MSP post or 911. 

For more information on what to do before, during and after a winter emergency or disaster, check out the MSP/EMHSD’s preparedness website at http://www.michigan.gov/beprepared or Twitter page at @MichEMHS.

The Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division is responsible for coordinating state and federal resources to assist local government in response and relief activities in the event of an emergency or disaster, as well as coordinating homeland security initiatives and various federal grants.