Grand Rapids's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Grand Rapids, Michigan | WZZM13.com

State of emergency declared in Michigan in preparation for upcoming 'extreme cold'

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an order on Monday night declaring a state of emergency in Michigan.

LANSING, Mich. — Forecasters are predicting sub-zero wind chills midweek in Michigan, and in preparation, Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency on Monday night. 

Whitmer signed the order on Monday, and she will file it with the Secretary of State on Tuesday morning. 

The state of emergency will "help address threats to public health and safety related to forecast sub-zero temperatures over the next few days," according to a release. 

Temperatures are expected to be the coldest in 25 years with a forecast high of around 0 degrees and wind chills are expected to drop to minus 20 to minus 35 degrees.  

See a list of closings here. 

“Keeping Michiganders safe during this stretch of dangerously cold temperatures is our priority,” said Whitmer. “Such widespread, extreme conditions have not occurred in Michigan for many years and it is imperative that we are proactive with record-low temperatures being predicted by the National Weather Service."

The coldest temperatures are expected Tuesday and Wednesday night. The freezing cold is coming on the heels of a winter storm that dumped snow on the lower peninsula on Monday. 

"The state is actively working with local communities and emergency management partners to ensure they have all the resources they need to respond," the release said. "Conditions and needs will be continually assessed, and appropriate action will be taken as warranted to protect public health and safety."

In addition to declaring a state of emergency, Whitmer has activated the State Emergency Operations Center to help coordinate the response and recovery efforts. 

Michigan government offices were closed on Monday, including the Capitol building and legislative offices. 

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers also declared a state of emergency on Monday because of the snow and upcoming dangerously cold temperatures. 

The National Weather Service suggested drivers stock up their car with emergency supplies. Their list includes: a cell phone charger, first aid kit, jumper cables, spare tire, flares, full tank of gas, sand or kitty litter, tow rope, blankets, snow shovel and brush, flashlight, mittens, hat, boots, warm clothes, water and snacks. 

With the frigid temperatures happening midweek, frostbite can occur within 15 minutes of less on exposed skin. 

Homeless shelters have warming shelters open during the winter to help protect people from the dangerously cold temperatures. See a list of Mel Trotter's warming shelters in Grand Rapids here.

Residents who need assistance or guidance during the extreme cold are encouraged to call 211.  

The Associated Press contributed to this reporting. 

►Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.

Have a news tip? Email news@13onyourside.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter.