Get Prepped: Is Your Home & Vehicle Ready for Extreme Michigan Winter Weather?
Soon enough, Michigan will likely be on the receiving end of moderate to heavy winter weather. But if you haven't prepared for extreme winter weather, it's a good idea to get you and your family prepped long before a potential disaster.
The Michigan State Police, Emergency Management, and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) is encouraging Michigan residents to prioritize winter emergency preparedness, along with Governor Whitmer.
"As colder months roll in, Michiganders should be prepared, as usual, to prepare for potential frozen pipes, propane shortages, and power outages. By taking effective precautions, we can all be ready for whatever the Michigan winter wants to throw at us, enjoy the holiday season, and keep our families safe and warm." - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
Every year, the MSP sends out a good checklist to go through, which you can read below. Along with following these steps to better prepare yourself for a winter weather emergency, make sure you, your family members, and even neighbors, have a plan and are on the same page if you have to shelter in place for an extended period of time in your home or your vehicle.
"Michiganders should take every opportunity to prepare for winter weather before it's here, bringing with it the potential for frozen pipes, propane shortages and power outages. Taking steps to prepare your home and vehicle in advance of the cold weather can help ensure your family stays safe all winter." - Col. Joe Gasper, State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and director of the Michigan State Police.
To prepare your home for winter:
- Weatherproof your home by installing weather stripping and caulking and insulating walls, doors, and windows.
- Insulate any water lines that run along exterior walls, so pipes are less likely to freeze.
- Lock in a propane rate now and have a backup heating plan, such as a generator, wood stove, or fireplace.
- Have gas or oil furnaces inspected by a qualified professional and change the air filter every two to four months.
- Have your fireplace and chimney cleaned and inspected. Contact your local fire department for a referral or look for a local inspector online.
- Install battery-operated carbon monoxide (CO) detectors near sleeping areas. CO poisoning is more common in the winter months when furnaces are turned on and portable generators are often used for electricity during power outages.
- Clean gutters to prevent ice dams from forming. Roof ice dams can cause water to 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 an emergency preparedness kit stored safely in your house that includes water, nonperishable food, a first aid kit, extra batteries, a battery or hand-crank-powered radio, emergency lighting or flashlights, extra blankets, and warm clothing.
- If you have pets, make sure that you also have extra food, water, or any needed medications for them too. Also, make sure that animals are not outside in the extreme cold for any extended amount of time.
Keep reading below for some very useful tips to keep your vehicle prepared for extreme Michigan winter weather as well.