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Winter Storms Blast the Great Lakes Region

The Great Lakes region in the Northeastern parts of the U.S and Canada have recently been affected by severe winter storms, leaving hundreds of thousands of people without power. Heavy snow and ice knocked down electrical lines in an area spanning states from Michigan to Maine and extending into parts of Canada. Some of the power outages are expected to extend through the weekend, though power crews are working tirelessly to re-establish supplies to large metropolitan areas. Some of the worst hit areas were Michigan and Maine where hundreds of thousands of people remain without power. The situation is so dire the the Red Cross has taken to providing food, shelter, and blankets to affected populations in the area.

 

These most recent storms are a continuation of the severe winter weather that struck the U.S and Canada this past November and early December. Even states along the west coast were affected by below freezing temperatures and icy conditions. This latest weather has proven to be trying for residents in the Great Lakes region particularly because of the widespread power outages in the wake of the holidays. The freezing winter temperatures often cause enough problems, but when winter storms bring down power lines and begin to adversely affect infrastructure, the events begin to take on the proportions of a disaster. Events like these reiterate the importance of ongoing emergency preparation–even during the winter.

Blizzard preparation is probably the most applicable type of preparation during the winter in the U.S and Canada. The difficult thing is that this can constitute a variety of preparations. Making sure your home’s central heating system is functioning, ensuring that insulation and attic ventilation are good, weatherstripping and sealing gaps around doors and windows, and clearing away snow and ice from your home are all essential cold weather preparations. Having a food storage supply, plenty of extra warm clothing and bedding, and a backup generator are all good items to have in preparation of a power outage as a result of a blizzard. In the instance of the outage across the Great Lakes, power could be down for a number of days, so maintaining supplies to address day to day life in an outage is a good idea. The point is to be able to remain as self sufficient as possible until service can be restored.

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