What to do before, during and after a storm

A storm creates lightning behind a neighborhood. (©dave312 - stock.adobe.com)

Heavy rain, wind, ice and tornadoes are all various types of severe weather that can strike Michigan over the course of a year.

While the types of storms may vary, it’s important to be prepared for inclement weather.

In observance of Michigan’s Severe Weather Awareness Week, DTE Energy is sharing some tips on what to do before, during and after the storm strikes.

Before the storm

1. Assemble an emergency kit with the following items:

  • Face coverings
  • Disinfectant spray
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Flashlight or battery-operated lanterns
  • Extra batteries
  • Bottle water
  • Nonperishable food
  • Disposable plates and utensils
  • Wind-up or battery-powered clock
  • Corded telephone (cordless phones don’t work when the power goes, out and your cell phone may not work if cell towers are affected)
  • First-aid kit
  • Cash
  • Blankets

2. Develop an emergency plan

3. Make a list of emergency phone numbers -- Include DTE Energy’s toll-free number: 800.477.4747. Call this number to use our automated system that reports power outages or downed power lines.

4. Download the DTE Energy Mobile App to report an outage from your mobile device.

During the storm

1. Unplug all appliances to minimize the danger of fire and to prevent an electrical overload when power is restored.

2. Leave one light on so you’ll know when power is restored.

After the storm

1. Stay at least 20 feet away from downed wires.

2. Never drive across a downed wire. If a power line falls on your vehicle, remain inside until help arrives.

3. Report downed wires by calling 800-477-4747, through DTE’s website or its mobile app.

4. Always operate generators outdoors to avoid a dangerous buildup of toxic fumes.

5. Don’t open refrigerators or freezers more often than necessary. A closed refrigerator will stay cold for 12 hours. Kept closed, a well-filled freezer will preserve food for two days.

6. Stay out of flooded or damp basements or other areas if water is in contact with outlets or any electrically-operated appliance. The water or moisture may serve as a conductor of electricity.

7. Follow DTE Energy’s restoration efforts on Twitter or Facebook.

Learn more about improvements that DTE is making to help weather storms by clicking here.