A recent report by the US Government points to the potential of record-setting heat along with high precipitation across much of the United States and Canada in the coming years. This has many wondering about the viability of our DTE Energy and Consumer’s power grids. We have created this DTE Energy Outage map and CMS Energy outage map information as a resource.
In 2003 a massive power outage on August 14, 2003, left parts of at least eight states in the Northeast and the Midwest without electricity. All told, 50 million people lost power for up to two days in the biggest blackout in North American history. The electrical overload of the energy grid contributed to at least 11 deaths and cost an estimated $6 billion in damages.
Here in Michigan’s Thumb during that 2003 outage, power was on the north of Imlay City. The blackout of metro Detroit contributed to pushing record crowds into Michigan’s Upper Thumb and the surrounding region looking for supplies, gasoline, and fun at the Cheeseburger in Caseville Festival. Many locals recall 2003 as the year that put the annual Caseville festival on the map.
Preparing for a Power Outage – What to Have
Looking ahead, we thought it was a good idea to provide a quick checklist for preparing for an extended power outage of at least three days. Extended power outages can occur after a severe storm with associated high winds. Here is the list of supplies and things to do to make the best of it.
Power Outage Kit Checklist
- Water – One gallon per person, per day
- Food—non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items. Canned or freeze-dried. Hiking/ Camping Meals Ready to Eat, MRE packaged is ideal. You will need a camp stove or outside grill.
- Flashlight – (NOTE: Do not use candles during a power outage due to the extreme risk of fire.)
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio – (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit /Medications (7-day supply) and medical items. See recommendations of what essential items to put in your First Aid Kit on OutdoorSkillz.com
- Multi-purpose tool
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items – Toilet paper, paper towel and femine products.
- Copies of personal documents – Medication list and pertinent medical information, deed/lease to home, birth certificates, insurance policies.
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Keep a non-cordless landline telephone in your home. It is likely to work even when the power is out. Even if you keep your landline but don’t pay for or use it it may have a dial-tone and be able to dial 911 for emergencies.
- Keep your car’s gas tank full.
Preparing for a Power Blackout – What to Do
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. First, use perishable food from the refrigerator. An unopened refrigerator will keep foods cold for about 4 hours.
- Then use food from the freezer. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed.
- Use your non-perishable foods and staples after using food from the refrigerator and freezer.
- If it looks like the power outage will continue beyond a day, prepare a cooler with ice for your freezer items.
- Keep food in a dry, cool spot and keep it covered at all times.
- Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment, including sensitive electronics.
- Turn off or disconnect any appliances (like stoves), equipment, or electronics you were using when the power went out. When power comes back on, surges or spikes can damage equipment.
- Leave one light turned on so you’ll know when the power comes back on.
- Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car. Traffic lights will be out and roads will be congested.
- Never use a generator, grill, camp stove, or other gasoline, propane, natural gas, or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace, or any partially enclosed area. Locate the unit away from doors, windows, and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.
- Garage Door – Know how to open your garage door manually if it is equipped with an automatic opener.
This list was prepared by the American Red Cross and other sources
DTE Energy Power Outage Map
The service area for this power company shows has 2.2 million DTE Energy customers across 7,600 square miles. The utility has a handy DTE outage map that graphically shows where the utility outages in your area. If your energy company is DTE, this power outage map is an ideal resource. Just enter your zip code or zoom in on your location of interest.
The map will visually show areas of the power outage. It will also include the number of customers affected, restoration work estimates, when the outage was reported, the time of the last update from DTE crews on site, and the cause of the outage.
To view the DTE Energy Co. Power Outage Map, click on the image below.
How to Report a Power Outage to DTE Energy
DTE customers can use the DTE Energy Mobile App or call DTE Service at 800-477-4747 to report power problems. The mobile app shows the DTE Energy Outage map and dynamically updates it for your area. With the DTE Energy App, this is an easy way to track your restoration progress via email, text, or receive a push notification from their outage center on your cell phone or smartphone. To report a downed power line call, 9-1-1, then contact DTE Energy at 800-477-4747 and report. Stay safe: never approach a downed wire, do not approach or touch wires in contact with metal fences.
Consumers Power Outage Map
The Consumers Energy outage map also shows current outages and the number of customers and households affected by a power outage for their service area.
Reporting a Power Outage to Consumers Energy
Besides the CMS Energy outage map, Consumers Energy customers can report an outage by calling 800-477-5050 to report a power outage. If you see a downed wire, call 9-1-1 and then Consumers Power at 800-477-5050. Stay safe: never approach a downed line or wire.
What to Do When the Power is Restored
- Momentary outages may still occur. Monitor the National Weather Service for the current status of any severe weather activity such as wind gusts.
- After a storm, there may be downed power lines due to wind damage. Do not touch any downed electrical power lines, and keep children and pets away. Suppose you see a power line crossing a fence. Do not touch the fence. Electric current can traverse metal fencing or other objects.
- Telephone lines may be downed too. However, don’t assume that the line is safe.
- Report any downed power line to your utility company immediately. Also, report it to the local police and fire department. Line crews from the power company should be the only ones near a downed power line.
- If a power line is down in puddles of water, avoid going near or touching the water.
- If you used an electric generator during the outage, shut down the system and ensure those circuit breakers are restored to normal settings per the manufacturer’s instructions.
- If you smell rotten eggs or sulfur, it could be a gas leak. Report gas leaks to your utility company immediately and notify your police and fire departments.
Next Steps And Food Safety After a Power Outage
- Once the utility companies restore power, the job is not done. Set clocks, alarm systems and medical devices affected by the power outage.
- Dispose of food that has sat in temperatures above 40°F for two or more hours. This includes the food in your refrigerator.
- If you have a food thermometer, check each item is cold enough.
- Even if it looks or smells fine, the food at room temperature for over an hour can cause bacteria growth, causing foodborne illnesses.
- If food in the freezer is colder than 40°F and has ice crystals on it, you can refreeze it.
- When in doubt, throw it out.