Gov Whitmer declared this week, November 3 - 9th, Winter Hazards Awareness Week.  With that said, The Michigan State Police Emergency Management wants to make sure you're ready for whatever winter has in store for us, whether it be at home or in your car.

As their press release says,

“Winter is on its way and with cold weather comes health and safety concerns with cold temperatures, freezing pipes, potential propane shortages, and power outages. Michiganders should take extra steps now to be better prepared for the winter months.”

As for your home, there are a lot of winterizing tips, including updating weather stripping and caulking along doors and windows, locking in a propane rate now, making sure you have a CO2 detector and you have your furnace checked for leaks (if gas), as well as cleaning out your chimney, gutters and storm drains.

  • Weatherproof your home by installing weather stripping and caulking and insulating walls, doors and windows.

  • Insulate any water lines that run along exterior walls, so pipes are less likely to freeze.

  • Lock in a propane rate now and have a backup heating plan, such as a generator, wood stove or fireplace.

  • Have gas or oil furnaces inspected by a qualified professional and change the air filter every two to four months.

  • Have your fireplace and chimney cleaned and inspected. Contact your local fire department for a referral or look for a local inspector online.

  • Install battery operated carbon monoxide (CO) detectors near sleeping areas. CO poisoning is more common in the winter months when furnaces are turned on and portable generators are often used for electricity during power outages.

  • Clean gutters to prevent ice dams from forming. Roof ice dams can cause water to build up, leading to interior damage.

  • Clear storm drains along the curb to enable water to drain. If plugged, water has the potential to go into low-lying areas and flood basements.

  • Have an emergency preparedness kit stored safely in your house that includes water, nonperishable food, a first aid kit, extra batteries, a battery or hand-crank powered radio, emergency lighting or flashlights, extra blankets and warm clothing.

 

What you may not think of though, is making sure your car is ready for the winter weather as well.  Here's a list of things to check on, from the MSP Winter Preparedness press release:

  • Have your radiator system serviced, replace windshield wipers and refill wiper fluid.

  • Replace any worn tires and check air pressure regularly.

  • Have your brakes, brake fluid, oil, car battery, heater and exhaust checked to make sure everything is running efficiently.

  • Keep an emergency preparedness kit in your vehicle stocked with batteries, battery-powered or hand-crank radio, flashlight, windshield scraper, jumper cables, mobile phone charger, shovel, blankets, first aid kit, non-perishable food and bottled water in the event you get stranded or stuck.

If you need more tips on being prepared for the fun that winter weather brings, you can find it HERE.