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      Be prepared!

      We only wish we were joking in saying a major winter storm is on its way, but it is, which means we need to prepare ourselves for any dangerous situation that could occur from this unwanted weather. Clearly, stay off the roads this evening if possible.

      ??The biggest factor is speed,?? said Trooper Ryan Rossler, with the Michigan State Police. ??That??s the leading contributor to most crashes related to weather. People need to keep in mind that they need to consider the conditions of the highway. Even if they are traveling the speed limit, that still may be too fast for the conditions, and they can be stopped for that.??

      Preparing simple measures at home can help, too. Saving some water in containers in case the power does go out is always wise. Adjust your refrigerator setting to the coldest so in the event of an outage, the food stays safe.

      ??For a house kit, obviously a first aid kit would be important. Have a flashlight with extra batteries, battery-powered radio, some nonperishable food items,?? Rossler said.

      An emergency kit for your car is just as important and such include, but isn??t limited to blankets, hats, food and water. Also, make sure your gas tank is at least half full. Many gas pumps are powered by electricity, and you don't want to be caught in that predicament. Although it's always safe to err on the side of preparedness, some residents say emergency preparedness is simply a way of life in the UP.

      ??This is the UP; we just kind of go for it,?? said Dickinson County resident, Teddy Izzo. ??We have all that stuff already because we live in the UP and in the thick of it. It??s like, we have a shovel, but we don't have an emergency shovel, we just have a shovel. We don't have a kit, per se, but we do have the equipment if a blackout did happen.??

      In the whole scheme of things, it's better to be more prepared than not enough.