Winter Emergency Preparedness

As we all prepare for winter weather advisories, we can take commonsense measures to stay safe. 

  • Stay indoors if possible. If you must go out, wear layers to prevent loss of body heat and cover your mouth to protect your lungs from extreme cold. 
  • Keep a three-day supply of food and water, battery-powered weather radio, flashlight and extra batteries, and extra blankets.  
  • For those requiring oxygen, make sure you have a backup power source in case of outages.  
  • To protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning, do not use a generator, charcoal grill, camp stove, or other gasoline or charcoal burning device inside your home, basement, garage, or near a window.  
  • Check on family, friends, and neighbors who are at risk and may need additional assistance.  
  • Follow @MichEMHS for more information on how to prepare before, during, and after an emergency.  

If you don’t need to be on the roadways, please stay home. If you are going out, follow these tips: 

  • Keep your vehicle’s fuel tank near full to prevent it from freezing.  
  • Pack an emergency supply kit with essentials like salt or cat litter, jumper cables, flashlight, shovel, food, water, and blankets.  
  • Make sure you give yourself extra time to get where you are going safely.  
  • Avoid downed power lines, which could be carrying live electricity.  
  • Snowplows have blind spots, especially in a snowstorm. Give snowplow operators a little extra help and “Don’t Crowd the Plow.”  
  • Before you travel, check MDOT’s MiDrive Website for information on closures, snowplow locations, and other road condition information.

Warming Shelters

  • Macomb County Warming Shelters
  • TBD: Should a mass power outage occur and the need for warming centers arises, several City and community partner buildings may open to residents. The City will provide additional information regarding which buildings will be open on all its communication channels.

Generator Safety Tips

  • Use portable generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from all doors, windows and vents.
  • Make sure you have carbon monoxide alarms in your home.
  • Do not use a generator in a wet area. This can cause shock or electrocution.
  • Connect appliances to the generator with heavy-duty extension cords.
  • Do not fuel your generator when it is running. Spilling gas on a hot engine can cause a fire.

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

  • Keep garage doors closed, especially if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing, especially if your sinks are on an exterior wall. (If you have small children, be sure to remove any harmful cleaners and household chemicals.)
  • Let the cold water drip from a faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe—even at a trickle—helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature during day and night. Again, during a cold snap is not the time to set back the thermostat at night to save a few bucks on your heating bill.
  • If you plan to be away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
  • For the long term, add insulation to attics, basements, and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in those areas. And to prevent drafts, seal cracks and openings around windows, doors, and at sill plates, where the house rests on its foundation.