Winter Preparation Tips

February 20, 2024 | From Our View

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Michiganders are all too familiar with the bitter, unrelenting cold that comes during the winter months. While it surely takes serious mental and emotional preparation to acclimate to the changing temperatures, it also takes other considerations, such as winterizing your home, to ensure minimal risk of weather-related damages until the thaw of spring. 

Michigan 2-1-1 and its dedicated partners, such as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), are always ready to jump in and support; whether you’re looking for assistance for winterizing your home, concerned about the fluctuation of utility prices during the colder months and what resources are available, or dealing with the aftermath of a winter storm. To provide preliminary support as the cold weather settles in, the following are a few factors we recommend considering to help take the edge off the winter season. 

Make an Emergency Kit

It’s important to know the risks that come with winter weather and how to determine the best plan of action in an emergency situation. Tuning in for local weather reports will keep you informed of the status of a winter storm, like whether it’s a storm watch (issued between 12-48 hours beforehand) or the hastier storm warning (issued between 12-24 hours beforehand). Consider putting together an emergency kit for your home and car packed with blankets, flashlights, food, water, and portable power banks to help preserve phone battery.

Remember Your Home’s Hardware

One of the safest places during the cold, snowy months is right at home – provided that you’ve taken the proper steps to protect your house from the elements. Your home’s hardware, such as gutters and pipes, are all affected by the dropping temperatures. It’s important that you clean out your gutter system and make sure your attic is properly insulated to prevent any ice dams, which could harm both the house and the gutters. Making sure that all pipes susceptible to freezing are insulated and that plumbing under kitchen and bathroom sinks are getting sufficient heat may prevent any freezing or bursting from occurring. 

Indoor heating systems are often the saving grace for combatting the discomfort of winter weather, but they also play a vital role in keeping your homes’ internal systems running smoothly. Before turning on the heat for the first time of the season, make sure to check and possibly service any furnaces, boilers, and chimneys to clear out any unwanted buildup. Once that’s all set, keeping an internal temperature of at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit will help keep internal systems at a stable level. Unfortunately, the more energy spent on keeping your home heated means a more costly energy bill – if this becomes an issue for your household, there are resources available that 2-1-1 is more than happy to connect you with. 

Reach Out for Support

One 2-1-1 partner leading the charge for assisting those in need of utility support is the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which specializes in helping low-income households with their heating and cooling energy costs, energy crisis assistance and general home weatherization and repairs. LIHEAP has provided support for roughly 6.7 million households nationwide and has played a vital role keeping Michigan families struggling to pay the bills safe and healthy throughout the colder months. If you or your family are in need of this resource or are interested in learning more, please visit or call 2-1-1 for live support.

Don’t Ignore the Elements

Michigan wears its cold and snowy weather like a badge of honor, coming together and providing support to make sure everyone is safe, secure, and comfortable through the winter. With the help of its wide variety of community partners, Michigan 2-1-1 is always ready to help find the solution for residents in need. 

If you’re struggling to pay the bills, recover from a recent crisis or are in need of any health or human service, go to Michigan 2-1-1 to search the public resource directory of services or contact your regional 2-1-1 center for live help.