Utility crews preparing for severe storms tonight

JACKSON-Consumers Energy is urging customers to prepare for severe weather expected later this evening moving across Lower Michigan.
"It looks like Mother Nature is planning her own pre-holiday fireworks show Monday night and early Tuesday with strong to severe thunderstorms," said Michele Kirkland, Consumers Energy vice president of energy operations.
 "Winds of more than 50 mph are possible, as well as frequent lightning. We're committed to doing everything we can to deliver safe, reliable energy service to our customers when severe weather hits," Kirkland said. "A wide range of company, contract personnel and equipment is being mobilized to respond quickly to any customer power outages."
Some important tips to help prepare for a storm include:
• Charge electronic devices such as cell phones and laptops, and have fresh batteries available for items such as flashlights and weather radios.
• Have a three-day supply of water and non-perishable food available, and don't forget prescription medicine, a first aid kit and pet food.
•  Stay away from downed lines. People are advised to stay at least 25 feet away from any downed lines and assume that every line is "live" and dangerous.
Residents are also reminded not to anything a power line may be touching, including trees, fences, other debris, and puddles.
•  Report any downed wires by calling 9-1-1 or Consumers Energy at 1-800-477-5050.
•  Use caution while driving during and after a storm, especially when utility vehicles are working along the roadside. Remember to slow down and go around all roadside crews.
Additional storm and outage information is available through Consumers Energy's online outage center at www.ConsumersEnergy.com/outagecenter.
 

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