(WXYZ) — With freezing rain expected to move into metro Detroit starting around midnight, DTE is preparing for possible widespread outages ahead of the ice storm. The impending weather conditions are likely to cause downed power lines and tree-related outages.
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The company says more than 2,500 employees and contractors are on standby and will immediately tackle restorations if needed. One team will focus solely on clearing safety hazards, such as downed power lines, DTE says.
Crews will work 16-hour shifts to make sure all customers will have power restored.
Customers are encouraged to keep these tips in mind during the storm:
- Never drive across a downed power line. If a power line falls on your vehicle, remain inside until help arrives.
- Always operate generators outdoors to avoid dangerous buildup of toxic fumes.
- Don’t open refrigerators or freezers more often than absolutely necessary. A closed refrigerator will stay cold for 12 hours. Kept closed, a well-filled freezer will preserve food for two days.
- Turn off or unplug all appliances to prevent an electrical overload when power is restored. Leave on one light switch to indicate when power is restored.
- If a customer is elderly or has a medical condition that would be adversely impacted by a power outage, they should try to make alternative accommodations with family or friends.
- During low-voltage conditions – when lights are dim and television pictures are smaller – shut off motor-driven appliances such as refrigerators to prevent overheating and possible damage. Sensitive electronic devices also should be unplugged.
- 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. This can cause serious or even fatal injury.
- Assemble an emergency kit. It should include a battery-powered radio, a flashlight and candles, extra batteries, a first-aid kit, a fire extinguisher, bottled water and non-perishable food.
- Customers who depend on electrically powered medical equipment should ask their physician about an emergency battery back-up system. If a customer is elderly or has a medical condition that would be adversely impacted by a power outage, they should develop an emergency plan that allows for alternative accommodations with family or friends.
- Keep a corded or cell phone on hand because a cordless telephone needs electricity to operate. Also, customers should learn how to manually open automated garage doors.
- Customers who depend on a well for drinking water need to plan ahead on how they will obtain water. Store containers of water for cooking and washing.