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DTE Energy offers tips to help customers stay safe and informed during storms

DETROIT, June 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- As severe weather season in Michigan approaches, DTE Energy reminds customers that now is the perfect time to prepare for the possibility of power outages in the months ahead.

Historically, Michigan's most severe weather has occurred during the months of July and August. Thunderstorms, high winds and lightning all can damage power lines and other equipment, resulting in power outages. While DTE Energy works year-round to make its system more resilient to storm damage, being prepared can make an outage easier to deal with.

"We've upgraded the electric system in more than 450 areas across this region," said Heather Rivard, vice president of Distribution Operations for DTE Energy. "These improvements mean fewer power outages, getting the lights on faster following storms, and more reliable service for our customers every day. Even with these ongoing improvements, storms can still damage the electric system and cause outages. That's why we urge customers to be prepared."

DTE Energy offers seven tips to help customers stay safe and informed during outages.

  1. Assemble an emergency kit. The kit should include a flashlight, batteries, bottled water, cash and first aid supplies.
  2. Make sure you can depend on technology.  Keep cell phone contacts up-to-date so it's easy to get ahold of family and friends. Also consider purchasing an external cell phone battery pack or car charger to prevent running out of cell phone battery power.
  3. Develop a family emergency plan. Family members may be in different places when a storm hits. Ensure everyone knows where the emergency kit is stored and what to do in a power outage.
  4. Make arrangements for medical equipment. Customers who depend on electrically powered life-support equipment should ask their physician about an emergency battery backup system.
  5. Download the DTE Energy Mobile App on your smart phone. Customers can report an outage, check on the status of an outage and view DTE's outage map from their smart phones using the free app available from the Apple Store or Google Play.
  6. Know how to open garage doors manually. Automatic garage door openers need electricity to operate.
  7. Prevent basement flooding. Customers who live in areas where basements flood quickly may want to consider getting a battery backup for their sump pumps.

"Keeping customers and employees safe around electricity is DTE Energy's number one priority," Rivard said. "When severe weather strikes, we can all stay safer by being prepared for the possibility of outages."

For more information, customers can visit at dteneergy.com/outage

About DTE Energy
DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE) is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Its operating units include an electric utility serving 2.2 million customers in Southeastern Michigan and a natural gas utility serving 1.2 million customers in Michigan. The DTE Energy portfolio includes non-utility energy businesses focused on power and industrial projects, natural gas pipelines, gathering and storage, and energy marketing and trading. As one of Michigan's leading corporate citizens, DTE Energy is a force for growth and prosperity in the 450 Michigan communities it serves in a variety of ways, including philanthropy, volunteerism and economic progress. Information about DTE Energy is available at dteenergy.comtwitter.com/dte_energy and facebook.com/dteenergy.

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SOURCE DTE Energy

For further information: John Austerberry, DTE Energy, 313.235.5555 | Stephanie Beres, DTE Energy, 313.235.5555