Gov. Rick Snyder today urged residents across Michigan to prepare for the forecast of severe winter weather conditions. He also instructed state agencies to proactively make weather-related information and safety tips available and be prepared to act as they continue monitoring the storm.
“The heavy snowfall across much of Lower Michigan presents hazardous situations that demand caution and preparedness,” Snyder said. “I encourage all Michiganders to stay informed of the changing weather conditions and put safety first, especially while driving and heating their homes.”
Snyder also announced that all Lower Peninsula state offices were closed at noon Wednesday due to the winter storm. Updates on building closures will be posted to www.michigan.gov. The State Emergency Operations Center will remain open to manage the Flint water emergency and will monitor storm conditions. All Flint Water Resource Sites will remain open during regularly scheduled hours of operation, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Forecasts currently call for 8-12 inches of snow across most of Lower Michigan. Roads are expected to become snow covered, creating hazardous driving conditions and limited visibility. Meteorologists are predicting high winds that may lead to downed power lines and power outages, as well.
Residents should make arrangements for incoming severe weather, including having an emergency preparedness kit stored in your home that includes: water, non-perishable food, a first aid kit, extra batteries, a battery or hand-crank powered radio, emergency lighting, flashlights, extra blankets and warm clothing.
Residents should be aware of the dangers presented by carbon monoxide poisoning while using generators to power their homes and heaters in the event of a power outage. Carbon monoxide is an odorless and invisible gas produced when fossil fuels — such as coal, gasoline, natural gas and oil — are burned.
Deadly fumes can develop quickly in enclosed spaces, so generators should be kept outside the home as a safety precaution.
The first symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may be headache, dizziness, confusion, fatigue and nausea. As more of this gas is inhaled, it can cause unconsciousness, brain damage and even death. If you do suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, move yourself, your family and pets to fresh air quickly and immediately call 911.
People are encouraged to monitor local news media for up-to-date weather reports and local emergency information. Travelers are encouraged to go to www.michigan.gov/roadconditions andwww.michigan.gov/drive to check road conditions before traveling. This information is also available by calling the MSP Travel Advisory Hotline at 1-800-381-8477. For more information on how to prepare for a winter storm, visit www.michigan.gov/miready.