Southwest Michigan Realtor

By Michael Delaware, REALTOR®

When the lights go out in Michigan during winter…

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When the lights go out in Michigan during the winter, it can be a dangerous time.  I am talking about the unexpected power outage.  Now most any area of the country has experienced a power failure now and again. 

Most rural homes are on a well and septic system in Southwest Michigan.

I remember the Fourth of July weekend in 2008 when my neighborhood was without power for four days.  It was brutally hot at night, and we had to empty our refrigerator and save what food we could by taking it to my step-daughters apartment on the other side of town. 

We lived by candle light at night, and played a lot of cards.  When the lights go out in Michigan during the winter it is a different story altogether.  The severe danger is frozen pipes.  The first best course of action is to immediately set all of your faucets to dripping or when in doubt, a slow drizzle. 

If you have a fireplace, take advantage of it and get your fire going.  Being in the city, when a power outage occurs in winter, it usually is very short lived.  The people that have the most trouble when the lights go out in Michigan during the winter are those that live in the rural areas, and have well water. 

Well water requires electricity to operate the pump, and if you are in extreme freezing

Winter in Michigan requires a back up plan in case of a power outage.

 conditions, dripping the faucets may not be the only solution necessary.  It is advisable that people that live in a rural area own their own gas powered generator for just such an occasion, as power outages in rural areas are known to take longer to be restored than in urban areas. 

The main reason is that the power companies tend to focus on restoring power to the largest groups of people first.  Rural locations typically have lower population levels, so they can experience longer delays.  If you have no generator, it would be good advice to drain the water heater, and throw anti-freeze in the drains and toilets as some basic steps to saving your plumbing. 

Another option a lot of rural homes include in their planning is a wood burning back up heat system, like a fireplace or stove that allows them to heat the entire house.  This can offer great energy saving benefits, as well as security from damaged plumbing in the event of a prolonged power outage in winter. 

When the lights go out in Michigan during the winter, it can sometimes be a scary thing, but with taking some precautionary planning steps, it does not have to be so bad. 

Winter in Michigan is beautiful, but being alert for how to act during a power outage is important to prevent damage to your property.

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