By Mike Kruzman /

A local utility is helping residents prepare for seasonal thunderstorms and safe celebrations in warmer weather.

With May being nearly half over, Consumers Energy is shining a light on storm safety and protecting oneself from harm while working and playing outdoors in the summer. They recommend all households prepare an emergency kit in the case of a severe storm causing power outages. The kit should include a 3-day supply of water, non-perishable food and medicines, flashlights, and a portable radio with batteries.

They also advise that you use generators safely, being sure not to operate them in an attached garage, basement, enclosed patio, or by windows and air intakes.

Anyone who sees a downed power line is cautioned to stay at least 25 feet away and then call 9-1-1 and Consumers Energy to report it. Before cleaning up damaged trees or branches, make sure they aren’t touching power lines. Take caution when flying drones, model aircraft, or kites; doing so only in wide-open areas to avoid power lines. When using a ladder outside, look up for power lines first, and likewise, check for their presence when moving large vehicles like an RV or a boat with a mast.

And, as always, before starting any digging project, call MISS DIG at 8-1-1 three days in advance of the project to protect from digging into underground utilities.

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