Consumers Energy Offers Storm Preparation Tips

Crews Working Safely to Restore PowerConsumers Energy is reminding customers what to do before, during and after a winter storm, as the utility prepares to respond to a storm system hitting Michigan this week.

Consumers Energy is making preparations to respond to any electric service interruptions that may result from the storm expected to bring freezing rain, sleet and snow. The icing may result in power outages, but the utility is prepared.

“Our customers can rest assured that they can count on us to be ready when this storm hits,” said Garrick Rochow, Consumers Energy’s vice president of energy delivery. “We are mobilizing company and contract personnel and equipment to be in place for a rapid response to any customer power outages.”

At the same time, Rochow said, it’s advisable for customers to prepare to keep themselves and their family members safe during this winter storm and the storms to come.

“It’s important that we take time to plan for dealing with severe weather,” Rochow said. “Being prepared can minimize the impact of a storm and help you and your family to stay safe.”

Customers who lose power should call Consumers Energy at 1-800-477-5050 or online at http://www.consumersenergy.com. Customer outage information, including estimated restoration times, is available at www.consumersenergy.com/outagemap.

Be Prepared

  • Keep enough supplies for 72 hours – food, water, medication, etc. Remember to have food that doesn’t require refrigeration or heating and copies of prescriptions as well as a first aid kit. Don’t forget food / water for your pets as well. 
  •  Keep flashlights, a portable radio and extra batteries handy. For safety, battery operated lights should be used instead of candles which can cause a fire.
  •  Install battery-operated carbon monoxide (CO) detectors and smoke alarms.
  • Don’t use the stove or oven to heat a home, and don’t use generators in enclosed areas (garages, breezeways) or near other air intakes for risk of CO poisoning.
  • When using a generator, make sure it is properly installed by a licensed electrician, for the safety of line workers and other emergency responders who may come near power lines.
  • Change smoke and CO detector batteries when resetting clocks for daylight savings.
  • Charge your electronics prior to the storm and switch to a battery saving mode if power is lost.
  • Visit http://www.consumersenergy.com on your mobile device, which immediately displays helpful outage and storm related information, including our new online outage map.
  • Limit non-essential calls so your devices are available for emergency information or contacting 911.

During a Storm       

  • Stay away from downed power lines and debris that might be entangled with power lines.
  • Stay at least 25 feet away from all downed wires and always assume they are “live.” Call Consumers Energy immediately at 1-800-477-5050 or your local law enforcement agency if you see any downed power lines.
  • Don’t touch anything a power line may be touching including trees, fences and puddles. A good rule is if you are in a safe location, stay there (like your house or car) and then make sure you notify Consumers Energy.
  • Don’t interfere with utility crews while they are working.

After a Storm

  • Check on neighbors or family members who may have been affected by the storm.
  • When safe to leave your home, check on those with specific concerns such as the elderly, those with infants, limited mobility or other special needs.
  • After a storm, limit non-essential travel to avoid going into hazardous areas and avoid hampering restoration efforts.
  • Monitor your local radio station or Consumers Energy’s on line outage map, http://www.consumersenergy.com/outagemap on your mobile device to get the most current power restoration information.
  • If your home loses heat during period of extreme cold, call 2-1-1 and see if there is a designated public shelter in your area. You can also visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency website from your mobile device, http://www.FEMA.gov and use its shelter-locating mobile application.