Steps to take Friday in advance of a potentially dangerous Michigan ice storm

By  | 

MID-MICHIGAN (WJRT) (1/10/2020) - With a potentially historic ice and snow storm bearing down on Mid-Michigan, emergency management officials are urging the public to prepare themselves in advance.

Weather forecasts are calling for more than a half-inch of ice in the southern part of Mid-Michigan and 6 to 11 inches of snow in the northern part of the region.

Rainfall will begin around Mid-Michigan on Friday evening and change over to frozen precipitation on Saturday morning. Freezing rain, sleet and snow are likely through Sunday morning.

RELATED: Winter Storm Watch expands to nearly all of Mid-Michigan as storm approaches

Police and emergency management agencies offered several steps the public can take Friday before the brunt of the storm hits on Saturday.

Before the storm

-- Make sure cell phones and other battery powered devices are fully charged.
-- Pay close attention to weather advisories and warnings on TV.
-- Make sure vehicles have a full tank of gas.
-- Prepare an emergency kit with basic supplies like non-perishable food, bottled water, a flashlight, battery operated radio and extra batteries.

During the storm

-- Pay attention to branches and power lines outside. They may be weighed down and susceptible to breaking.

-- Keep pets inside. Freezing rain and heavy snow can cause hypothermia and frostbite.

-- Stay at least 25 feet away from any downed power lines and anything they are touching. Consider any downed line to be energized even if it isn't sparking or arcing.

-- Stay home. Driving on icy roads is very treacherous and can impede the progress of road crews working to treat road surfaces. Stay with a vehicle if when stranded along the road. Remember any traffic lights that are out must be treated as a four-way stop.

-- Check on elderly or vulnerable neighbors.

-- Stuff towels and rags underneath doors to keep the heat in and stop drafts.

During a power outage

-- Dress warmly and wear layers indoors.

-- Turn off or unplug electronics and appliances to avoid a power surge when electricity is restored. Leave only one light on to tell when power comes back on.

-- Avoid operating generators, grills or any gas-powered heaters indoors because they can cause a buildup of carbon monoxide.

-- Avoid opening freezers and refrigerators unless absolutely necessary. A full freezer will keep food frozen for 24 to 36 hours if left closed.

-- Use flashlights rather than candles to provide light. If candles are absolutely necessary, use proper holders and keep them away from children.