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Michiganders Encouraged to Prepare for Upcoming Severe Winter Weather
December 21, 2022
With winter weather upon us, and the potential for dangerously cold and hazardous weather this week and holiday weekend, the Michigan State Police (MSP) is encouraging residents to be flexible with travel plans and take necessary preparedness measures to help ensure their safety.
Travel is expected to be dangerous statewide Thursday through Saturday. The National Weather Service is forecasting the potential for blizzard conditions in the Upper Peninsula starting Thursday, and in the Lower Peninsula starting on Friday. Blizzard conditions are expected to last through Saturday with wind gusts between 40-50 mph and gusts over 60 mph possible at times Friday into Saturday.
Residents should have a supply of essential items ready in advance to use during emergencies such as a power outage or being stranded in a vehicle. These supplies should be kept at home, at work and in vehicles for use during an emergency.
“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 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.”
Winter preparedness tips:
Develop a 72-hour emergency supply kit that includes essential items like 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: 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.
Automotive preparedness tips:
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.
Motorists are encouraged to check travel conditions and weather reports before driving. Major road closures can be found at www.michigan.gov/MiDrive. Additional resources can be found at www.michigan.gov/RoadConditions. 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.