Stock up on supplies for winter storm emergencies

Northern Michigan's next storm is bringing snow and ice - which can cause a lot of damage and power outages. Officials want to make sure you are ready for an emergency as we head into the upcoming winter.

The Leelanau County Emergency Manager says that although this kind of weather is common here in Michigan, most people don't have the things they need in their house if the power goes out.

"We have winter storms that come and go, they're usually short duration - so no, I don't think people take the time to properly prepare," said the Leelanau County Emergency Manager, Tom Skowronski.

But Skowronski says you should - he says everyone should have extra canned food and snacks, blankets, towels, and a generator or wood - any way to stay warm. You should also stock up on flashlights and batteries, and have a weather radio to keep yourself informed.

He said one of the most important things is water. "Water - several bottles of water. And also, we encourage people to have extra water so they can continue to flush their toilets in a power outage."

One of the biggest concerns in winter is the ice - which looks to be a problem for the southern part of the state in particular with this next system. Ice can be heavy and that weight can cause power lines to break.

7&4 also spoke with representatives from Consumers Energy, who said they are also preparing for the storm and possible power outages. "We are a 24/7 operation - no matter the day, no matter the time of year, even though it is almost Christmas - people want their lights to be on. So we are ready, we've got enough manpower, enough people-power if you will, and we're ready if needed."

Officials also said that everyone should have an emergency kit in their cars too. It can include things like a blanket, boots, flares, water, and snacks just in case you get stranded.