GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Most of West Michigan will experience blizzard-like conditions in the days leading up until Christmas, which could lead to massive amounts of power outages in the area.
While Consumers Energy has reassured its customers that there will be an ample number of crew workers restoring power even on Christmas Day, there are ways to keep your family healthy and safe in the event your power does go out.
Josh Paciorek with Consumers Energy told News 8 that since there has been plenty of lead-up time ahead of the winter weather, residents can start getting ready for potential loss of power now. Some of the tips include unplugging sensitive electronics such as power strips, computers, TVs and printers.
“That way, when the power does come back on, you’ll avoid any sort of power surges, which could potentially damage the electronics,” Paciorek said.
Additionally, an emergency kit should already be inside the home, equipped with flashlights, extra batteries, external chargers, a radio, blankets and nonperishable foods. Pet items should also be kept near the emergency kit for convenience.
Those with generators should also be reminded to keep them at least 25 feet away from enclosed areas and have plenty of ventilation.
Consumers Energy will be keeping residents up to date with power outages in the area but Paciorek said that the estimates may not be 100% accurate due to how damaging the storm might be. Restorations are expected to take longer due to the potential for high wind gusts. If winds are above 35 miles per hour, crews are not allowed to use bucket trucks to fix higher outages.
“Give it some time and as the weather makes its way through and we have a better idea of the extent of the damage, we’ll be able to provide a more accurate estimated restoration time,” he said.
If you do happen to experience a power outage and are in need of assistance, Paciorek said to call 211 and you will be dispatched to a representative from the Heart of West Michigan United Way, who will tell you where the nearest warming station is in your area. Power outages should also be reported to Consumers Energy by calling 1.800.477.5050.