Michigan State Police tell residents to prepare for hazardous winter storm

MICHIGAN – The Michigan State Police are encouraging residents and visitors to prepare for a winter storm expected to affect all of Michigan Thursday and Friday.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for much of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and a Winter Weather Advisory for all of the Lower Peninsula The NSW is forecasting snow to arrive late this afternoon, creating slick roads and low visibility with conditions to worsen by Friday morning, as gusty winds, drifting snow and falling temperatures are added to the mix.

“Travel may be extremely dangerous during periods of heavy snowfall and gusting winds over the next two days,” said Captain Kevin Sweeney, deputy state director of emergency management and commander of the emergency management and homeland security division. “If planned travel is non-essential, you are encouraged to postpone it and stay home. Fewer vehicles on the roadways help snowplows clear roads more quickly and safely.”

To stay safe during a snow storm:

  • Stay indoors if possible. If you must go outside, wear protective gear, such as hats, mittens, gloves, scarf and a warm coat.
  • Avoid overexertion when shoveling heavy snow, pushing a car or walking in deep snow. Take breaks frequently.
  • Watch for signs of frostbite, which includes uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, drowsiness and exhaustion.
  • Understand the hazards of wind chill. As weed increases, heat is carried away from the person’s body more rapidly and could lead to severe hypothermia.
  • Remove clothing if it gets damp or wet, Wet clothing can make you more prone to hypothermia.
  • Check heating units. Poorly operating or damaged heating units can release carbon monoxide gas. Test carbon monoxide detectors for proper operation and battery life.
  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who are at risk and may need additional assistance.
  • Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a full tank of gas and an emergency preparedness kit in your vehicle. Put warm clothing, such as gloves, blankets and hats, in your kit in case you become stranded. If you become stranded or stuck, stay inside your vehicle and wait for help.

Motorists are encouraged to check travel conditions and weather reports before driving at Michigan.gov/RoadConditions. Major road closures can be found at Michigan.gov/drive. The MSP/EMHSD asks that you tune into local news and/or view these websites rather than calling your local MSP post or 911 or traveling conditions.

More information on how to prepare before, during and after an emergency or disaster can be found at Michigan.gov/MiReady, and follow MSP/EMHSD on Twitter @MichEMHS.

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