Image via Shutterstock michigan winter
Image via Shutterstock

Michiganders are encouraged to prepare their cars and homes ahead of the winter. Here’s what you need to know. 

MICHIGAN—Michiganders are in for higher-than-usual amounts of rain and snow, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. And in the midst of a global crisis, preparedness is key.

In order to help Michigan residents get ready for the challenges of the season, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has proclaimed Winter Hazards Awareness initiatives for a 2020 winter during the peak of the pandemic. 

“Michiganders are no strangers to winter weather,” Whitmer said as she announced Winter Hazards Awareness Week earlier this month. Her goal is to ready every local family for the severe weather. 

Meteorologist Kevin Kazan, of the National Weather Service’s White Lake office, said it’s not known exactly when the increased precipitation will occur, but this year’s winter should be an eventful one.

“It all depends on when the cold air hits, when we do get those weather patterns,” he said. “We’re going to end up with more rain, bigger surges of moisture and an opportunity for higher snowfall totals with a normal range of temperatures.”

Top concerns for Michiganders include dangerously cold temperatures, freezing pipes, potential propane shortages, and power outages.

  1. Weatherproof your home by caulking and insulating walls, doors and windows, and installing weather stripping.
  2. Prevent pipes from freezing by insulating water lines that run along exterior walls
  3. Have a backup heating source, such as a wood stove, generator, or fireplace, and lock in a propane rate if possible before the season starts.
  4. Make sure your furnaces are inspected by a qualified professional and the air filter is changed.
  5. Clean out and inspect your fireplace. Search online for a local inspector or contact your local fire department for more information.
  6. Clean gutters to prevent ice dams, which can cause interior damage, from forming
  7. Place battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors near every sleeping area
  8. Clear storm drains along your curb enabling water to drain, which helps prevent flooding.
  9. Make an emergency preparedness kit including water, non-perishable food, a first aid kit, a battery or hand-crank powered radio, blankets, warm clothing, emergency lighting or flashlights, and extra batteries. 

Don’t forget your cars, ‘Ganders. Here are the tips you need: 

  • Service your radiator before winter and replace windshield wipers and wiper fluid with a wintertime mixture that won’t freeze
  • Check air pressure regulatory and replace worn tires
  • Check your brakes, brake fluid, oil, heater, exhaust and car battery to ensure they are running efficiently
  • Keep an emergency preparedness kit in your vehicle including batteries, a battery-operated or hand-crank radio, flashlight, windshield scraper, jumper cables, shovel, blankets, mobile phone charger, first aid kit, non-perishable food and bottled water in case you get stranded or stuck

For more tips, visit michigan.gov/miready or follow the MSP/EMHSD on Twitter at @MichEMHS.