Storm Safety 101: Tips for Weathering the Storm

Storm season in Michigan is no joke. The massive thunderstorms our region is known for can bring with them bring with them high winds, flash floods, lightning, and other hazardous conditions.

Check out our storm safety tips below to refresh your knowledge on what to do in the event a severe storm knocks out your power or creates other unsafe conditions in your area.

High winds, falling trees or limbs, and even lightning strikes can result in downed power lines. Remember to stay at least 20-25 feet away from a downed power line and anything it comes into contact with, especially puddles of water. The best thing to do if you see a downed power line is to call 911 and then your local energy provider.

After a severe storm, use extreme caution around metal fences, which can conduct electricity. Even other fences connected to a fence that is touching a downed power line can be dangerous.

Water and excessive moisture can conduct electricity, so if part of your home or basement becomes flooded, keep clear until you know your power is turned off. This is especially true if the water comes into contact with electrical outlets, a furnace, or any electric appliances.

Protect sensitive electronics from power surges by making sure they are plugged into surge protectors all the time, and unplugging them before the worst of a storm hits. That of course includes TVs, computers, and printers. It also applies to many things that we wouldn’t have considered “sensitive” just 10 years ago, like washers and dryers, refrigerators, and other “smart” appliances.

Phone lines can quickly become congested during a storm, with people calling loved ones, reporting power outages, and trying to reach emergency first responders. Help keep networks clear by saving your phone calls for emergencies only. Doing so not only allows local energy providers to focus on keeping the power on, but helps police, fire, and EMT more effectively help people in crisis.

Keeping fully stocked on batteries is a simple but hugely important step you can take any time to ensure you’re prepared if there is a power disruption caused by a major storm. Be sure to keep enough batteries on hand—and in the different sizes you need—to help power flashlights, radios, phones, and other devices you may need.

Put together an emergency preparedness kit for your car, home, and business in the event of a major storm—the kind that could keep you stranded for a while. Consider including bottled or boxed water, canned food, a manual can opener, blankets, flashlights, and batteries. Including some basic medical supplies, like bandages, alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide could also be a good idea.

These tips should help you weather the worst of Michigan’s storms. For more information, advice, and guidelines, be sure to check out some storm safety tips from Consumers Energy and DTE Energy.