Consumers Energy Urges Residents To Prepare For Tricky Halloween Weather

JACKSON, Mich., Oct. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Mother Nature may have tricks of her own planned Thursday with thunderstorms, high winds and heavy rain forecast across Lower Michigan as children take to the streets for evening Halloween trick-or-treating.

Consumers Energy is reminding parents and others accompanying the costumed youngsters to exercise caution on slippery surfaces created by wet leaves covering yards, sidewalks and driveways as well as possible downed wires and tree limbs resulting from the forecasted rough weather.

"Being extra careful during the expected poor weather and returning home safely is the best 'treat' our children and others out on Halloween night can receive," said Michele Kirkland, the utility's vice president of energy operations.

Other Halloween safety tips include:

  • Children's costumes should fit well and adults need to make sure children can see and be seen after dark.
  • Children and accompanying adults should carry flashlights.
  • Drivers should have their car headlights on and use caution when driving through neighborhoods busy with trick-or-treaters who are often distracted and not checking both ways before crossing a street.
  • Children should avoid neighborhoods which appear to be without electricity as downed wires also may be in the vicinity.

Meanwhile Consumers Energy is closely monitoring the weather and is preparing for possible power outages. Headquarters are being staffed and additional company and contractor crews are on standby to quickly respond to any power outages caused by the storms.

"We're committed to doing everything we can to deliver safe, reliable energy service to our customers when severe weather hits. A wide range of company, contract personnel and equipment have been mobilized to rapidly respond to any customer power outages," Kirkland said.

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 a first aid kit or any prescription medication if needed.  
  • During and after a storm, people are advised to stay at least 25 feet from any downed lines and assume that every line is "live" and dangerous. Residents are also reminded to not touch 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.
  • If flooding or another disaster should occur, check for the odor of natural gas before entering any area. If you think you smell this "rotten egg" odor, leave the area immediately and call 1-800-477-5050.  Remember to replace any appliance submerged in water.

Additional storm and power outage information is available at Consumers Energy's newly updated online outage center, www.ConsumersEnergy.com/outage

Customers who lose power should contact Consumers Energy at 1-800-477-5050 or online at www.ConsumersEnergy.com. Customers can report an outage, get outage information, including updated estimated restoration times, all on a detailed map available at www.ConsumersEnergy.com/outagemap. The map is accessible via both desktop computer and mobile devices.

Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.6 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

For more information regarding Consumers Energy, go to: www.ConsumersEnergy.com or join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/consumersenergymichigan

SOURCE Consumers Energy



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