Governor discusses state of emergency declaration

Posted at 6:29 PM, Jan 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-29 18:29:54-05

LANSING, Mich. — Governor Whitmer filed her declaration for a State of Emergency Tuesday as extreme weather continues to punish the Midwest. She and law enforcement are spreading the message to stay inside and out of the elements if you can.

"I got teenage kids. They want to get outside, and I said, 'Stay at home,'" she recalled.

Whitmer spoke with media at a warming center in Lansing Tuesday morning. She discussed her reasoning for declaring a State of Emergency.

"This is an event unlike any we've seen, and I think it's really important that we protect people. Part of doing that is just making sure people understand the severity," Whitmer explained.

She said the declaration allows local jurisdictions across the state to tap into additional resources if needed. The Michigan State Police Emergency Operations Center monitors those needs and keeps a pulse on what's going on in communities around the state.

Captain Emmitt McGowan explained, "All the state agencies are represented here when there's an emergency taking place. So when a request for a particular resource comes in we're ready to fire that out immediately."

For example, if several crashes occur in a particular spot or a city becomes overwhelmed by water main breaks, McGowan said his staff will deploy the manpower and tools needed to that area.

Again, officials say you can do your part by staying off the roads and out of these temperatures.

But if you have to be out, McGowan said, "Decrease your speed. Obviously in these weather conditions we want our motorist to just slow down."

McGowan also talked about being prepared if you have to be out. Prepare for a worst-case scenario. Keep jumper cables in your vehicle, non-perishable food, plenty of fuel in your gas tank, a flashlight, a blanket, and extra jackets.