Don’t get caught out in the cold; prepare for winter now

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – Winter weather is just around the corner and Governor Whitmer proclaimed November 8 through 14 “winter hazards awareness week.”

“Michiganders are no strangers to winter weather,” said Gov. Whitmer. “I’ve proclaimed this week as Michigan’s Winter Hazards Awareness Week to remind everyone to take a few steps to prepare for winter and ensure you and your family are ready for winter weather.”

Marquette County Emergency Management posted on their Facebook Friday with some suggestions for winter travel.

You can also find recommendations for how to stay safe during a snowstorm on ready.gov. Marquette County’s Emergency Management Coordinator, Theresa Schwalbach, says being prepared ahead of time is the most important tip for staying safe during winter weather.

“Make sure you have the necessary equipment and preparedness in your home and in your car ahead of time,” said Schwalbach.

Schwalbach says you can find resources for how to put together a home emergency kit and a car emergency kit on ready.gov.

“You do need an emergency kit for both your home and your car,” said Schwalbach. “Your home you can still have the extra batteries, the crank radio, the extra blankets, flashlights, clothes, extra water, nonperishable food items, and you should also have that in your car as well in case you get stuck in the snow.”

Ready.gov also recommends having jumper cables, flares or a reflective triangle, an ice scraper, a car cell phone charger, a blanket, a map and cat litter or sand (for better tire traction). Schwalbach also says that the National Weather Service Marquette and Marquette County Emergency Management Facebook pages post resources and information about weather emergencies as well.

“Especially now when the holidays are coming, we want to make sure everybody on the road is safe in case we all of a sudden get a snow storm,” said Schwalbach. “Right now it’s nice, the weather’s pretty nice but eventually that’s going to change.”

If you get stranded on the side of the road in the winter it’s better to be prepared. Schwalbach says in a snowstorm it may take some time for emergency responders to get to people who need help.

“A lot of people if they get stuck on the side of the road they call 9-1-1, with that they just have to be aware that especially during a snowstorm if you call 9-1-1 and your stuck on the side of the road you might not get help right away so that’s why we want you to have those emergency kits in your car ahead of time in case they don’t get to you right away,” said Schwalbach.

She says it’s also important to keep your car filled with enough gas so that you aren’t running on empty if you get stuck. You can find more information about preparing for emergencies on the CDC’s website, the National Safety Council’s website and the Red Cross’s Website.

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