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Michigan 2-1-1 is your go-to source for up-to-the-minute data and stories of local, regional, and state health and human services needs in Michigan. If you’re a member of the media, reach out to media@mi211.org or call 517-371-4360 for more information.

Call 811 before any digging projects.

MPSC urges Michiganders to stay safe, make free call to 811 before starting any digging project LANSING, Mich. – Every year, underground utility lines in Michigan are damaged during digging activities because someone didn’t check first for the location of buried infrastructure. April is Safe Digging Month and the Michigan Public Service Commission reminds everyone --from homeowners to construction crews -- to make a free call to MISS DIG 811 before starting any outdoor digging project and have work areas marked for safety. “April is the traditional start of construction and excavation season, whether it’s a homeowner putting in a fence post or a developer doing site work for a business expansion,” said Sally Talberg, chairman of the MPSC. “We strongly encourage individuals and companies to call 811 before beginning any projects, no matter how small, to protect underground utility lines from being struck and potentially causing injuries or outages.” A few days before starting an excavation project, make a free call to 811 or fill out a request online at www.MISSDIG811.org (homeowners should click on “Request Service” and excavators should select “e-Locate.”) Trained workers from local utilities will be dispatched to a job site to mark the approximate locations of underground gas, electric, communications, water, or sewer lines using flags or spray paint. To be safe, do no start an outdoor project until public utility locations are marked, and carefully dig by hand in the designated areas. “I would like to remind all Michiganders that as you move into spring and begin your excavation projects, contact MISS DIG 811 first. It’s easy, it's free, and it's the law,” said Bruce Campbell, CEO of MISS DIG System, Inc. “Keep yourself, your neighbors and underground utilities safe: Call MISS DIG 811 before you dig!” Research by Common Ground Alliance, the national association dedicated to protecting underground utility lines, found that 42 percent of homeowners who plan to dig this year for DIY projects say they will not call 811 beforehand. That puts homeowners at risk of serious injury or even death if they strike underground lines and their communities at risk of losing utility service. Go to www.call811.com for more information.

Utility Shutoffs Suspended during this Week’s Bitterly Cold Weather

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News Release No. 4 – January 30, 2019


Utility Shutoffs Suspended during this Week’s Bitterly Cold Weather


LANSING, MICH. Due to frigid temperatures across the state, the Michigan Agency for Energy today is alerting utility customers that major gas and electric providers will not shut off services to customers this week.

DTE Energy Co., Consumers Energy Co., and SEMCO said they have temporarily suspended shutoffs due to inclement weather. Utilities are required to file with the Michigan Public Service Commission their policies on extreme weather shutoffs. For DTE, temperature forecasts must be below 15 degrees and/or wind chills below zero for two or more consecutive days. For Consumers, it’s actual temperatures below 15 degrees and/or wind chills below zero degrees.
“With the extreme weather it’s vitally important that Michiganders stay safe and warm,” said Madhu Anderson, deputy director of the Michigan Agency for Energy. “If anyone has trouble paying their utility bills, there are a number of options available to them, from community service agencies to low-income assistance by utilities. We urge those in need to access these critical services by calling either 211 or your local utility provider.”


Nine community agencies throughout Michigan have been designated to help distribute emergency funding through the Michigan Energy Assistance Program. They are: Barry County United Way, Michigan Community Action, Salvation Army, Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Superior Watershed Partnership, The Heat and Warmth Fund, TrueNorth Community Services, United Way of Jackson County, and United Way of Southeastern Michigan. Individuals can call the statewide helpline at 211 to be connected to any of the providers or other social services.


Anyone having difficulties paying utility bills should call their local electric or natural gas provider and enroll in available help programs. Customers of Consumers should call 800-477-5050; DTE, 800-477-4747; Upper Peninsula Power Co., 800-562-7680; and Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corp., 800-242-9137. Check utility websites for more information.
For issues with utilities, customers can call the MPSC Customer Assistance at 800-292-9555.


Customers are also warned to be aware of imposters who may try to take advantage of the weather situation to scam customers out of payments. Utility companies never call customers requesting immediate payment to keep services from being shut off. Nor do they ask for payment by gift card, bitcoin, or money order. If you suspect a call to be fraudulent, hang up and immediately call your utility at the telephone number on your bill and ask to speak with a customer service representative. You may also file a consumer complaint with the Michigan Department of Attorney General by visiting michigan.gov/agcomplaints or calling 1-877-765-8388.

Michigan 2-1-1 Statewide Coverage 2 year Anniversary

2-1-1 celebrating two years of connecting people across Michigan!

Today, we’re celebrating two years of 2-1-1 connecting people to information, resources, and services across every corner of Michigan!Available online, by phone or by text, 2-1-1 connects people to over 36,000 local, statewide, and national resources that range from employment, family support, food, government services, health, housing, public benefits, volunteerism, youth services and others. Whether you’re in Marquette or Monroe, know that you can give help and get help 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by calling 2-1-1, visiting www.mi211.org or texting your zip code to 898-211. We’re excited to celebrate two years of statewide coverage across Michigan, and look forward to continuing our commitment to providing consistent, reliable, timely, and accurate access to information to support connected communities where all people thrive.

10 Must-Knows as Michigan Kids Head Back to School

The 2018-19 school year begins with many new rules and issues parents need to know.  Learn the 10 things to know as your children head back to school. For more information: https://www.freep.com/story/news/education/2018/09/04/back-school-michigan/1158240002/

CDC Announces 2018-2019 Flu Season Recommendations

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has published their recommendations for the annual influenza vaccination. For more information: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/current.htm