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State Police: Prepare for Hazardous Winter Storm; Snowfall and gusting winds expected to create hazardous driving conditions
February 04, 2021
The Michigan State Police is encouraging residents and visitors to prepare for a winter storm expected to affect all of Michigan today and Friday.
The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Winter Storm Warning for much of Michigan's Upper Peninsula and a Winter Weather Advisory for all of the Lower Peninsula. The NWS is forecasting snow to arrive late this afternoon, creating slick roads and low visibility with conditions to worsen by Friday morning, as gusty winds, drifting snow and falling temperatures are added to the mix.
"Travel may be extremely dangerous during periods of heavy snowfall and gusting winds over the next two days," said Capt. Kevin Sweeney, deputy state director of Emergency Management and commander of the Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD). "If planned travel is non-essential, you are encouraged to postpone it and stay home. Fewer vehicles on the roadways help snowplows clear roads more quickly and safely."
To stay safe during a winter storm:
- Stay indoors if possible. If you must go outside, wear protective gear, such as hats, mittens, gloves, scarf and a warm coat.
- Avoid overexertion when shoveling heavy snow, pushing a car, or walking in deep snow. Take breaks frequently.
- 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.
- 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.
- Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a full tank of gas and an emergency preparedness kit in your vehicle. Put warm clothing, such as gloves, blankets and hats, in your kit in case you become stranded. If you do become stranded or stuck, stay inside your vehicle and wait for help.
Motorists are encouraged to check travel conditions and weather reports before driving at www.michigan.gov/roadconditions. Major road closures can be found at www.michigan.gov/drive. The MSP/EMHSD asks that you tune into local news and/or view these websites rather than calling your local MSP post or 911 for travel conditions.
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.