The State of Michigan has activated the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) today in response to severe weather events in Michigan. The SEOC coordinates response and recovery efforts of state agencies.
As of 1 p.m., the counties of Midland, Osceola, Ottawa and Newaygo have each declared a local state of emergency due to storms and severe flooding. A local jurisdiction declares that a "state of emergency" exists when they have sustained widespread or severe damage, injury or loss of life or property. A local declaration ensures that the response and recovery aspects of the jurisdiction's emergency operations plan have been activated, and that local resources are being utilized to the fullest extent practicable. There have been no requests for a state declaration at this time.
"The state is committed to ensuring all avenues for possible assistance will be available if needed," said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, commander of the Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD). "The protection of Michigan citizens is our primary concern and we will continue to work closely with local emergency managers and public safety partners to ensure everyone's safety."
People living in flooded areas may be undergoing significant challenges right now. By taking certain precautions, you can protect yourself from flood–related illness or injury. Here are some things to consider if you are in a flooded area:
People should assume their private well is contaminated if the well casing is under water. Bottled water should be used for drinking or cooking until the well and distribution system are flushed out, disinfected and tested for contamination.
Never use generators, grills or other gasoline-, propane- or charcoal-burning devices indoors. These items produce carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless gas that kills more than 500 Americans each year.
Do not let children play in or near floodwater or in areas that have flooded recently. Disinfect toys that may be contaminated by washing them with a solution of two teaspoons bleach in one gallon of water. Discard any soft toys that may be contaminated with sewage.
Keep in mind that standing water is likely not sanitary water and people should avoid coming into contact with overflow areas.
Motorists should use caution, as some area roads have deteriorated and may be impassable. Please do not drive around barricades. Roads may still be unstable after the rain subsides.
For additional severe weather safety tips, visit www.michigan.gov/emhsd.
The SEOC is the emergency operations center for the State of Michigan located in Lansing, and is overseen by the MSP/EMHSD. It is staffed by members of state agencies and private sector representatives for decision-making and information coordination of disasters and emergencies in the State of Michigan.