Tips for safely riding the storm out

With summer heat settling into Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin, the possibility of thunderstorms and more severe weather rises with the temperature.

The Upper Peninsula Power Company offers these tips for safely dealing with whatever summer storms might dish out:

– Power lines: Always consider a power line to be energized, even if it is on the ground. Do not touch a downed line or try to move it in any way. Call the police or your power company as soon as possible.

– Generators: An electric generator can be helpful during a power outage. However, there are still safety issues to consider. Be sure to disconnect your house from the power company’s system. Doing this will ensure the generator cannot feed electricity back into the system and protect workers trying to restore service, as well as prevent the flow of electricity into nearby homes. Store fuel for generators in cool, well-ventilated spaces to lessen the chance of fire. Operate generators in ventilated spaces to guard against carbon monoxide poisoning.

– Storm checklist: Although power company crews will work around the clock to restore service, it is possible power may be out for an extended period after a particularly severe storm. To make outages as painless as possible, take a few minutes to assemble an emergency kit before you need it, such as flashlights, battery-operated radio to hear weather forecasts and news bulletins, a first-aid kit, supply of water and non-perishable food, and essential specialty items like prescriptions, baby food and warm clothing.

If power does go out, contact your electric provider. UPPCO customers can call 800-562-7809, 24 hours a day. UPPCO also offers customers outage updates via Twitter @UPPCOstorm.

Customers of We Energies may report outages at 800-662-4797, or visit www.we-energies.com/