As spring weather returns to Michigan, so does the risk of severe weather.
To help protect people and property, April 7-13 has been declared Michigan Severe Weather Awareness Week. Tips and resources to prepare for thunderstorms, flooding and tornadoes that can accompany rising temperatures include the following:
Before a storm strikes:
-Plan ahead. Know where to go and what to do in a weather emergency.
-Have a portable radio, flashlights and fresh batteries handy.
-Know the location of the circuit box for your home’s electricity and how to turn the power on and off.
During a thunderstorm:
-Don’t use the phone unless it’s an emergency.
-Unplug or turn off power to all unnecessary appliances, such your coffeemaker, toaster, TV, DVD player, microwave and computer.
-Stay away from open windows, doors, patio or open porch.
-Don’t shower or bathe. Lightning can travel through plumbing pipes and water.
-Have alternate routes planned in case of flooding.
During a tornado:
-In homes and small buildings, go to the basement and get under something sturdy, like a workbench or stairwell. If a basement is not available, go to an interior (windowless) room, closet or bathroom on the lowest level. In public places, move to the designated shelter areas. Interior hallways on the lowest floors are generally best.
-Stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls.
-If you are caught outdoors, seek a sturdy shelter.
If your home loses power:
-If possible, check to see if the problem is a blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker.
-Report an outage and get predicted restoration times using your smartphone at www.ConsumersEnergy.com/outagemap or by calling (800) 477-5050.
-Watch for fallen wires, broken utility poles or tree limbs on a power line. Stay clear of power lines and anything a power line is touching, including puddles of water, and call us at right away at (800) 477-5050.
After a flood:
-After a flood or other disaster, check for the odor of natural gas (rotten eggs) before entering any area. If gas is detected, leave the area immediately and call (800) 477-5050. Replace any appliance submerged in water