Consumers Energy Encourages Use of Online Outage Map Tool, Offers Storm Tips During Severe Weather Awareness Week

 Consumers Energy Encourages Use of Online Outage Map Tool, Offers Storm Tips
                     During Severe Weather Awareness Week

PR Newswire

JACKSON, Mich., April 10, 2013

JACKSON, Mich., April 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --As Michigan observes Severe
Weather Awareness Week, Consumers Energy is reminding customers of its new
online outage map tool and what to do before, during and after summertime

Thunderstorms across Michigan this week are a reminder that summer and severe
weather are coming. The Michigan Committee for Severe Weather has declared the
week of April 7-13 as Michigan Severe Weather Awareness Week.

In addition to this week's spring-like storms, high winds, snow, sleet and
freezing rain forecast Wednesday night and into Thursday in northern lower
Michigan has Consumers Energy mobilizing personnel and equipment to be ready
for possible power outages.

"The online outage map is a significant new tool that helps build on our
promise to provide safe, reliable energy to our customers whenever they need
it," said Kate Leese Burgers, Consumers Energy's public safety director. "We
know with severe spring and summer weather comes the increased chance of power
outages. The outage map is a great resource not only for our customers, but
for local meteorologists, emergency managers and local government officials."

The outage map can be accessed on desktop computers and mobile devices at The site allows customers to report an
outage, get estimated restoration times for outages and view outages on a
detailed map. Customers can also report power outages by calling Consumers
Energy at 1-800-477-5050.

"It's important that we take time to plan for dealing with severe weather
during all four seasons," Burgers said. "Being prepared can minimize the
impact of a storm and help you and your families stay safe."

Before and after a storm hits, Consumers Energy encourages citizens and
customers to consider the following tips:

Be Prepared

  oKeep enough supplies for 72 hours – food, water, medication, etc. Remember
    to have food that doesn't require refrigeration or heating and copies of
    prescriptions as well as a first aid kit. Don't forget food / water for
    pets as well.
  oKeep flashlights, a portable radio and extra batteries handy. For safety,
    battery operated lights should be used instead of candles which can cause
    a fire.
  oInstall battery-operated carbon monoxide (CO) detectorsand smoke alarms.
  oDon't use generators in enclosed areas (garages, breezeways) or near other
    air intakes for risk of CO poisoning.
  oWhen using a generator, make sure it is properly installed by a licensed
    electrician, for the safety of line workers and other emergency responders
    who may come near power lines.
  oCharge your electronics prior to the storm and switch to a battery saving
    mode if power is lost. Limit non-essential calls so your devices are
    available for emergency information or contacting 911.

During a Storm

  oStay at least 25 feet away from all downed wires and always assume they
    are "live." Call Consumers Energy immediately at 1-800-477-5050 or your
    local law enforcement agency to report downed power lines.
  oStay away from storm debris that might be entangled with power lines.
  oDon't touch anything a power line may be touching including trees, fences
    and puddles. Visit on your mobile device, which
    immediately displays helpful outage and storm related information,
    including the online outage map.

After a Storm

  oWhen safe to leave your home, check on neighbors or family members who may
    have been affected by the storm; especially those with specific concerns
    such as the elderly and individuals with infants, limited mobility or
    other special needs.
  oMonitor your local radio station or Consumers Energy's online outage map, on your mobile device to get the most
    current power restoration information.

For more information on the Michigan Committee for Severe Weather, a coalition
of public and private organizations, go to

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, go to: or join us on Facebook at

SOURCE Consumers Energy

Contact: Media Contacts: Roger Morgenstern, 616/530-4364 or Terry DeDoes,
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.