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Michigan State Police Reminds Residents to Prepare for the Extreme Cold

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As statewide temps are forecasted to hover around 0 degrees with wind chills at 25 below or colder, the Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) is reminding Michigan citizens about how to prepare for the extreme cold.

Captain Chris Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD, says “now is the time to prepare and take proper precautions.” He adds that “citizens are encouraged to monitor local weather reports and follow the appropriate steps to stay safe during these extremely cold and potentially life-threatening temperatures.”

To stay safe during cold weather:

  • Stay indoors if possible. If you must go outside, wear protective gear such as hats, mittens and gloves in addition to a warm coat. Always protect your lungs with a scarf.
  • Watch for signs of frostbite, which include the loss of feeling or pale appearance of fingers, toes or face.
  • Watch for signs of hypothermia, which include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, drowsiness and exhaustion.
  • Understand the hazard of wind chill. As wind speed increases, heat is carried away from a person’s body more rapidly and could lead to hypothermia.
  • Remove clothing if it gets wet or damp. It could lead to hypothermia.
  • Weather proof doors or windows to trap heat inside your home.
  • 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 addition assistance.
  • Watch pets closely and keep them indoors when possible. They can also suffer from hypothermia, frostbite and other weather related injuries.
  • Check and restock your emergency preparedness kit. If you don’t have a kit, make one.
  • Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a full tank of gas and an emergency preparedness kit in the car. Add warm clothing to your kit – such as gloves, blankets and hats – in case you become stranded.

Citizens who need assistance or guidance are encouraged to call 211. For more information and additional tips, click here.

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