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Consumers Energy Offers Storm Preparedness Tips

               Consumers Energy Offers Storm Preparedness Tips

PR Newswire

JACKSON, Mich., Oct. 29, 2012

JACKSON, Mich., Oct. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- With high winds expected across
Michigan as Hurricane Sandy moves west, Consumer Energy is reminding its
customers of what to do before, during and after a storm.

The utility is making preparations and staffing additional personnel to
respond to any electric service interruptions that may result from the strong
winds associated with Hurricane Sandy. While the hurricane's center is
expected to make landfall on the East Coast late Monday, winds from the
extremely large storm were beginning to reach Michigan midday Monday.

The utility is keeping most of its service centers open throughout the night
Monday to rapidly respond to customer outages caused by the expected high
winds. In addition to available company crews, contract and forestry crews
have been placed on stand-by status to assist with restoration activities.

"While this is an early start to our winter storm season, it's important that
our customers take time to plan for severe weather activity," said Garrick
Rochow, vice president of energy delivery for the utility. "Being prepared can
minimize the impact of a storm and help you and your family to stay safe."

Consumers Energy offers the following tips to help its customers weather
storm-related outages:

Be Prepared

  o Keep flashlights and a portable radio handy.  Make sure you have fresh
    batteries.  Lanterns and battery-operated lights are a safe alternative to
  o Keep a list of emergency numbers near your phone.  Most hard-wired and
    cell phones should still work.
  o Some cordless phones operate only with electricity.  Keep a cell phone or
    other phone that works without electricity.
  o Become familiar with where your electric circuit box is located and know
    how to turn your power on and off.
  o If you have electrically powered life-support equipment, before a power
    outage occurs, ask your physician, nurse or equipment supplier about
    emergency backup.
  o If you have a generator, you must have a transfer switch installed in your
    fuse box by a licensed electrician, for the safety and protection of our
    line workers.
  o Keep a supply of canned food and, if you have an infant, baby formula. 
    Make sure you have a manual can opener.
  o Keep a complete first-aid kit and a sufficient supply of prescription
    medications on hand at all times.

During A Storm

  o If you lose power, please call Consumers Energy at 1-800-477-5050. Stay
    clear of downed and sagging wires.  Treat all downed wires as if they are
    energized and keep a safe distance.  Also make sure children and pets
    maintain a safe distance.  Immediately report downed wires to Consumers
    Energy at 1-800-477-5050 or the local law enforcement agency.
  o Stay clear of downed and sagging wires.  Treat all downed wires as if they
    are energized and keep a safe distance.  Also make sure children and pets
    maintain a safe distance.  Immediately report downed wires to Consumers
    Energy at 1-800-477-5050 or the local law enforcement agency.
  o Don't attempt to repair or remove limbs from lines.
  o Please don't interfere with utility crews while they are working.
  o Keep one light "on" so you'll know when your electricity has been
  o If you are leaving the house, turn the main breaker off.  This will reduce
    the chance of appliance damage and safety problems if power is restored
    while you're away.
  o Before removing damaged trees or branches, check closely to make sure no
    lines are touching them.
  o Draw blinds and shades over your windows.  That will prevent glass from
    shattering into your home if the window should break due to blown objects
    or large hail.

After The Storm Passes

  o Continue listening to local radio or television stations or monitoring the
    local newspaper for updated information and instructions.
  o Avoid traveling to or through storm-damaged areas if possible.  You may be
    putting yourself at risk or hampering restoration efforts.
  o Stay away from fallen power lines and anything a line may be touching. 
    Report downed power lines immediately to 1-800-477-5050 or the local law
    enforcement agency.
  o Be cautious around storm-damaged brush, branches and trees where wires may
    be entangled.
  o Survey your property for any visible damage and possible lingering effects
    of the storm, such as hanging branches or sagging lines. Report potential
    hazards and keep others – especially children – away from fallen trees and
    power lines.
  o Offer to help neighbors who may need special assistance:  infants, the
    elderly or people with disabilities.
  o Arrange for clean up on your property of any debris.  Consumers Energy
    will take care of pole or wire replacement and clean up, but tree and
    other debris can pose a hazard and should be removed promptly by the

Restoration information can be obtained by calling 1-800-477-5050.  For more
information on storm safety, visit the Consumers Energy website at:

Consumers Energy, the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), provides
natural gas and electricity to 6.8 million of Michigan's 10 million residents
in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

For more information regarding Consumers Energy, visit us at or join us on Facebook at

SOURCE Consumers Energy

Contact: Roger Morgenstern, +1-616-530-4364, or Dan Bishop, +1-517-788-2395
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