Ah, springtime thunderstorms in Michigan. You gotta love ‘em. The thrilling crash of the thunder, the sound of the pouring rain, the smell of the wet grass, the coziness of being near your family indoors, especially during the power outage. … Wait. The power outage? OK, being near your family during the storm is great, but the power outage? Not so much.
It seems in recent years, the storms have packed more punch, leaving branches and wires in their wake more often. If you prepare for storms and take heed of a few power outage safety tips, however, you may be able to deal with those storms a little better. Following are a few suggestions that can help protect you, your home, and your family this season.
Before the Storm
While you’re out and about completing your daily errands or while you are sprucing up your yard for the season, take the time to prepare for power outages that may come your way over the next few months. Here’s how.
- Have emergency items readily available in an accessible area of the home. Each family has specific needs, but generally the items should include:
- Battery-operated flashlights
- Extra batteries
- A general first-aid kit that includes bandages and any medications you might need
- Enough bottled water and non-perishable food to last three to five days
- A manual can opener
- A credit card or small amount of cash
- Safely trim tree branches and bushes, or contact a landscaping professional to do so, so that they are not near any wires.
- Clear gutters to avoid flooding.
- Seal your porches and decks to prevent damage.
- Teach children storm and power outage safety tips, including how to call 911 on a cellphone and where to hide in the event of a tornado, such as a basement, cellar, or storm shelter.
- Have an alarm system professionally installed, which provides you with additional peace of mind, warning systems, and 24-hour monitoring. If you happen to not be home during the storm, your alarm installation company will be alerted to any issues at your home. They will be able to contact you, and also your local police department on your behalf.
During the Storm
You and your pets should be indoors, especially due to the risk of lightning strikes. If you are under a tornado warning, stay away from windows and get to the lowest area of your home.
If your power goes out, carry flashlights with you as you walk around the house. Use candles only if batteries are not available, as candles may pose a fire hazard if used improperly.
In addition, spring nights can become very cool in Michigan, so bundle up to stay warm if necessary.
Finally, if your hot water heater goes out, use water sparingly. Before drinking tap water, make sure it is safe of any impurities that may be caused by flooding or water main breaks in the local area.
After the Storm
- Get help when removing fallen tree branches, as they could be too heavy or otherwise dangerous to handle alone. In the event that an entire tree fell onto your vehicle or house, contact a professional to help you move it. Use proper precautions when using a chainsaw or ax.
- Dispose of any broken lawn furniture, trash cans, or other items that may have been strewn about your yards during the storm.
- An important rule that applied when you were a child still applies today: Stay away from fallen power lines, as they pose an electrocution hazard. Call DTE Energy at 800-477-4747 or your local electric company immediately if you see a downed power line. Also contact your local police department so that they can set up barriers around the damage in order to protect houses, animals, and other people.
- If your lawn is flooded, make efforts to keep the water away from your home if possible. If your house is flooded, see if your insurance will cover the damage. Contact a professional to remove the water, or rent a submersible pump to pump it out. Make sure children and pets stay out of flood waters.
For additional storm and power outage safety tips as they relate to your home security system, contact us through our Vigilante Security website or by phone at 844-698-4445.