Skip to main content
Email Subscription

To sign up for email updates from Macomb County or to access your subscriber preferences, please enter your email address. If you would like to subscribe for text alerts please select Text Updates in the drop-down menu.

Emergency Management and Communications
117 S. Groesbeck, 2nd Floor, Mount Clemens, MI 48043
(586) 469-5270

Public Education

Hazardous Weather

Extreme Cold

Terms:

Blizzard Warning: Wind may reach up to 35 miles per hour or greater with snow. This will cause the temperature to be very cold.
Frost/Freeze Warning: Below-freezing temperatures are expected.
Prepare:

  • Make sure you have sufficient fuel for cars and generators.
  • Weather-proof doors and windows to trap heat inside your home.
  • Put warm supplies-such as gloves, blankets and hats-in your car in case you become stranded or extreme cold strikes while you are away from home.
  • Make sure animals are indoors well before cold weather hits.
  • Insulate pipes with newspaper or plastic to keep them from freezing.

Extreme Cold-Specific Items to Add to Preparedness Kit

  • Hat and Gloves
  • Warm-Layered Clothes
  • Portable Heater

Be Safe:
Signs:

  • During the winter months
  • Commonly accompany snow storms or blizzards

During:

  • Be sure to eat regularly and drink fluids.
  • Watch for frostbite. Signs include loss of feeling or pale appearance of fingers, toes, or face.
  •  Watch for hypothermia. Signs include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, drowsiness and exhaustion.
  • If using a heater, make sure the area is well ventilated.
  • If you must go outside, wear protective gear such as hats, mittens, and gloves in addition to a warm coat. Always protect your lungs with a scarf.
  • Change out of wet clothing immediately.
  • Wear several layers of loose fitting clothes.
  • Allow water to drip from your faucets to reduce the chance that they will freeze.

After:

  • Check on elderly and children for any signs of illness due to the cold weather.
  • Refill any supplies used from your preparedness kit.

More Information/Additional Resources:
http://www.ready.gov/winter-weather

Extreme Heat

Terms:

  • Heat Wave: Prolonged period of excessive heat, often combined with humidity.
  • Heat Index: A number in degrees Fahrenheit that tells how hot it feels when relative humidity is added to the air temperature.
  • Heat Cramps: Muscular pains and spasms due to heavy exertion. The first signal that your body is having trouble with the heat.
  • Heat Exhaustion: Blood flow to the skin increases, which decreases blood flow to vital organs and creates a form of mild shock. The condition will worsen if it is not treated.
  • Heat Stroke: The body's temperature control system stops working and causes brain damage. Death may result in some instances.

Prepare:

  • Install air conditioning systems or know where the nearest air conditioned public place is located.
  • Check your air conditioning system for proper insulation.
  • Cover windows that receive sunlight.
  • Keep a large supply of cold water where it is easily accessible.
  • Weather-strip doors and sills to keep cool air in.
  • Listen to local weather forecasts and remain aware of possible upcoming temperature changes.

Extreme Heat-Specific Items to Add to Preparedness Kit

  • Sunscreen
  • Cold Water

Be Safe:
During:

  • Stay indoors and limit sun exposure as much as possible.
  • Spend the warmest part of the day in the air conditioning. If you do not have air conditioning, considering going to a public location or cooling center that does.
  • Eat well-balanced, light and regular meals.
  • Drink plenty of water. Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages.
  • Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing.
  • Check on family and friends.
  • Never leave children or pets in closed vehicles.
  • Remember to give you pet extra water and limit their time outdoors.
  • Take frequent breaks from any strenuous work or activity.
  • Plan outdoor activities for the coolest times of the day.
  • Always wear sunscreen. Sunburn limits your body's ability to dissipate heat.

After:

  • Continue to drink water to restore proper hydration.
  • Check on neighbors and family to make sure they are not suffering from a heat related illness.

More Information/Additional Resources:

http://www.ready.gov/heat

Flood facts

Flash floods are the number one weather-related killer in the United States. Many flash flood deaths occur when people drive or walk on roads and bridges that are covered by water. Even six inches of fast moving flood water can knock you off your feet, and a depth of only two feet will float many of today's automobiles. The main locations within Macomb County that are most flood prone are:

  • North Avenue, between 21 and 26 Mile Roads
  • 21 Mile Road, West of North Avenue
  • 21 and 23 Mile Roads, at or near Romeo Plank
  • The City of Utica, West of Van Dyke, South of M-59 and East of Utica Road
  • Most parks and golf courses

Here are a few tips to help you prepare for a flood:

  • Make an itemized list of personal property well in advance of a flood occurrence.
  • Assemble a disaster supplies kit containing: first aid kit, canned food and manual can opener, bottled water, extra clothing, rubber boots and gloves, NOAA Weather Alert Radio, battery operated radio, emergency cooking  equipment, flashlight and batteries.
  • If you live in a flood prone area, keep sandbags, plastic sheets and lumber on hand to protect property.  Install check valves in building sewer traps.
  • Know the elevation of your home in relation to nearby water routes and FEMA Flood Zones.

During a Flood:

  • Avoid areas subject to sudden flooding.
  • Never try to walk or drive your car across flowing water if you are unsure of the water's depth.
  • Keep children away from playing in flooded streets, culverts and storm drains.

After a Flood:

  • Refer to local Health Department and Emergency Management press releases for guidance as to boiling water requirements, proper cleaning techniques for personal property and open shelters in your community.
  • Use flashlights, not lanterns or candles to examine your house.  Flammables may be present and loose.
  • Do not enter your home if you are unsure of the status of electricity in the home.  Submerged outlets and live wires make for an extremely dangerous condition.

Additional information:

Macomb County Emergency Management has developed an "Emergency Planning Booklet" that is available free to the public. Copies of this booklet are available online at oemc.macombgov.org or at the Office of Emergency Management, Mon-Fri, 8-4 located at 117 S. Groesbeck, Mount Clemens.

For more information on Flood Insurance offered here in Michigan through the National Flood Insurance Program, link onto www.floodsmart.gov.

For more current information regarding Flood threats and prepareness information please link onto the "Flooding Preparedness Packet" below.

Flooding Preparedness Packet

Thunderstorms and Lightning

Terms:

Severe Thunderstorm Watch: A severe thunderstorm is likely to occur in your area. Monitor local media and listen to your NOAA weather radio for updates and further information.
Severe Thunderstorm Warning: A severe thunderstorm is occurring in the area. Seek shelter immediately.
Prepare:

  • Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall on your home with strong winds.
  • Postpone outdoor activities until the storm has passed.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could be blown around, such as garbage cans and patio furniture.
  • Close all windows and blinds.
  • Charge cell phones and other wireless communication devices.
  • Sign up to receive text or e-mail alerts from your local media, weather provider or the National Weather Service.
  • Plan a way to monitor local weather and news while in shelter.
  • Identify the safest shelter location in your home; it should be on the lowest level, away from windows and doors.
  • Prepare for a power outage. See Blackouts

Be Safe:
Signs:

  • Rain
  • Dark Skies
  • Lightning
  • Increased Wind Speed

During:

  • Do not use corded devices, such as house phone or anything that plugs into a wall outlet.
  • Do not complete activities that use water or plumbing, such as laundry and showering.
  • Stay away from windows and doors.
  • Avoid tall and isolated objects. They are the most likely to be struck by lightning.
  • If you are outdoors with no place to shelter, seek low level ground that is away from trees and metal objects.
  • If you are traveling by car, pull over and remain in your vehicle until the storm passes.
  • If you are boating or swimming, go to land and seek shelter immediately.

If someone is struck by Lightning:

  • Call 9-1-1 immediately
  • Check for breathing – if breathing has stopped, begin mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
  • Check for a heartbeat – if the heart has stopped, begin CPR.
  • Check for other injuries, such as broken bones or loss of hearing and eyesight.

Note: It is okay to give first aid without fear of being hurt; the victim will not carry and electrical charge. 
After:

  • Wait 30 minutes before you go outdoors, remain cautious and remember that lightning can strike 10 miles away from a storm.
  • Stay away from downed power lines.
  • Monitor weather for other severe storms.
  • Check on elderly and children who may need help.

More Information/Additional Resources:
http://www.ready.gov/thunderstorms-lightning

http://www.mcswa.com/

Lightning Safety

While lightning can be fascinating to watch, it is also extremely dangerous. During the past 30 years, lightning killed an average of 51 people per year in the United States based on documented cases.  Over 80% of lighting victims are male.  However, because lightning usually claims only one or two victims at a time, and because lightning does not cause the mass destruction left in the wake of tornadoes or hurricanes, lightning generally receives much less attention than the more destructive weather-related killers. While documented lightning injuries in the United States average about 300 per year, undocumented injuries caused by lightning are likely much higher.

Between 1959 and 2013, the state of Michigan ranks 14th among all states in the number of lightning deaths, with 107 people known to be killed by lightning.  However, Michigan ranks 32nd   among all states for lightning density.  The state averages about 300,000 lightning strikes each year or about 5.1 strikes per square mile.  The majority of those lightning strikes occur in the south half of Lower Michigan.

Michigan had no reported deaths or injuries from lightning in 2012 or 2013!   In July 2011, a family was on a tubing outing on the Au Sable River. A thunderstorm rapidly developed, and they attempted to exit the river and find shelter. They were just out of the river, when three individuals were struck by lightning. Two women were pronounced dead at the scene.  In April 2011, 9 people were injured when lightning struck a soccer field in Portage at Westfield Park. The injured were a mix of adults and students who ranged in age from 12 to 41.  In 2011, 14 people were injured from lighting in Michigan.

During a thunderstorm, each flash of cloud‑to‑ground lightning is a potential killer. It's only a question of whether a person is in the path of the lightning discharge. Lightning deaths can be prevented only if people are aware of the dangers and seek shelter in a building or car.

Lightning can strike as much as 10 miles away from the rain area in a thunderstorm, which is about the distance that you are able to hear the thunder from the storm. That is why we stress: IF YOU CAN HEAR THE THUNDER FROM A STORM, YOU ARE CLOSE ENOUGH TO BE STRUCK BY LIGHTNING.  “If thunder roars, go indoors”.

Where organized sports activities are taking place, coaches, umpires, referees, or camp counselors must protect the safety of the participants and viewers by stopping the activities sooner, so that the participants and spectators can get to a safe place before the lightning threat becomes significant.  The National Weather Service’s lightning safety web page has a lightning safety toolkit for outdoor venues as well as links to our partner’s “Safer Design for Safer Play:  A Lightning Safety Initiative for Recreational Facilities”.

We encourage everyone to take advantage of Lightning Safety Awareness Week to review their plans and discuss with their children the dangers of lightning. Simply moving indoors when you see lightning or hear thunder can save lives.  “When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors.”

For more information:

http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/

http://www.weather.gov/dtx

Tornadoes

Terms:

Tornado Watch:  Tornadoes are possible in your area.
Tornado Warning:  A tornado has been sighted in your area. Seek shelter immediately.
Prepare:

  • Identify the safest location in the lowest level of your home.
  • Talk to your family about how you will communicate in the event that you are not at home when a tornado hits.
  • Plan a way to monitor local weather and news while in shelter.
  • Charge cell phones.
  • Move lawn furniture and outdoor objects-such as trashcans-into the garage.
  • Identify the safest location to shelter and know the building's safety plans if you are at work or school.
  • Sign up to receive text or email alerts from your local media, weather provider or the National Weather Service.
  • Prepare for a power outage. See Blackouts

Tornado-Specific Items to Add to Preparedness Kit

  • Blanket - To protect your head from sharp objects.

Be Safe:
Signs:

  • Dark, green-tinted sky
  • Large hail
  • Large, dark, low-lying clouds
  • Loud roar
  • Severe storms
  • Tornadoes usually occur between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.
  • Tornadoes usually occur in the late spring and early summer

During:

  • Seek shelter in the lowest level of your home.
  • Stay away from objects that can easily be blown around.
  • Seek additional shelter under sturdy objects such as tables, couches or stairwells
  • If no basement is available, seek shelter in the most interior room of your house.
  • Stay away from windows and doors.
  • Listen to a local media channel or NOAA weather radio for updates.
  • Protect your head from glass and sharp objects with a pillow or blanket.
  • If you are in a car and no shelter is available, pull over and let your surroundings determine your next action to either:
  1. Stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows, and cover your head with your hands and a blanket if possible.
  2. ​If you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway, exit the car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands.
  • If you are boating, go to land and seek shelter immediately.
  • If in public, go to the designated shelter areas.

After:

  • Inspect your property and motor vehicles for damage. Look for electrical problems and gas leaks.
  • Avoid and report downed power lines.
  • Check on your food supply.
  • Wear sturdy shoes, long sleeves, and gloves when you clean up debris.
  • Check and restock and supplies from your emergency preparedness kit that were used.
  • If you suspect home damage, shut off electrical power, natural gas and propane tanks.

More Information/Additional Resources:
http://www.ready.gov/tornadoes

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/msp/SevereWeatherPacketFinal2012_380077_7.pdf

Weather Safety for Outdoors