Here in Michigan, we’re used to frigid winter weather.
During several winters when I was growing up, temperatures frequently fell as low as 10F (-12C), including a brutally cold polar vortex in 2014, when wind chill temps hit -30F (-34C).
Our coldest temperature on record is an astounding -51F (-46C), which hit the northern town of Vanderbilt in 1934.
As a result, we are probably better prepared than many US states for this Arctic storm, which has brought chilly temperatures, strong winds and up to a foot (30 cm) of snow to some parts of our Great Lake state.
Our snow ploughs are prepped and ready to go after an overnight blizzard. I saw several on the roads during a 15-minute drive this morning.
Our residents are used to the morning winter routine of sprinkling salt on their steps and spending 20 minutes scraping stubborn frost off car windshields.
Home heating costs can be expensive in our cold state, but Michiganders are used to footing the bill.
That said, the freezing weather can still claim lives in Michigan, especially among vulnerable populations like the homeless. In 2019, two men in Michigan’s biggest city of Detroit were found dead outside during another polar vortex.
Officials say they’re taking several steps to ensure residents’ safety this week during the Arctic storm, including sending extra troopers to help drivers on the roads and coordinating with humanitarian groups such as the Red Cross and Salvation Army.