With an expected winter storm to bring heavy and wet snow across much of the state late Thursday and Friday, Consumers Energy is offering up storm preparation tips for before, during and after.

Garrick Rochow, Consumers Energy's vice president of energy delivery, says the utility company is making preparations to respond to any electrical service interruptions that may result from the storm. However, he added that at the same time it's advisable for customers to prepare to keep themselves and their family members safe during this winter storm and others to come.

Be Prepared

  • Keep enough supplies for 72 hours - food, water medication, etc. Remember to have food that doesn't require refrigeration or heating and copies of your prescriptions as well as a first aid kit. Don't forget food/water for your pets as well.
  • Keep flashlights, a portable radio and extra batteries handy. For safety, battery operated lights should be used instead of candles which can cause a fire.
  • Install battery operated carbon monoxide (CO) detectors and smoke alarms.
  • Don't use a stove or oven to heat the home, and don't use generators in enclosed areas such as garage or breezeways.
  • Charge your electronics prior to the storm and switch to a battery saving mode if power is lost.

During a Storm

  • Stay away from downed power lines and debris that might be entangled with power lines.
  • Stay at least 25 feet away from all downed wires and always assume they are "live." Call Consumers Energy immediately at 1-800-477-5050 or your local law enforcement agency if you see any downed power lines.
  • Don't touch anything a downed power line could be touching including trees, fences and puddles.
  • Visit www.consumersenergy.com on your mobile device, which immediately displays helpful outage and storm related information, including a mew online outage map.

After a Storm

  • Check on neighbors or family members who might have been affected by the storm.
  • Limit non-essential travel to avoid going into hazardous areas.
  • When safe to leave your home, check on those with specific concerns such as the elderly, those with infants, limited mobility or other needs.
  • Monitor your local radio station or Consumers Energy's online outage map to get the most current power restoration information