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Dear Neighbor, 

I am deeply upset by the damage yesterday’s storm caused within Kalamazoo County and West Michigan. My heart goes out to everyone who was affected. I appreciate the swift work of our first responders, volunteers, and neighbors to help those who were injured or experienced damages. I am also grateful for the Governor’s equally swift response to declare an emergency in the area and dedicate state support to assist with cleanup and repairs. 

In the newsletter below, I hope to connect you with resources that may be valuable to you at this time. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office for assistance. You can email me at or call 517-373-5100. We’ll get through this together. 


Senator McCann Signature

Sean McCann
State Senator
19th District


Important Resources 

PLEASE NOTE: This situation is changing as new information comes to light while damage and cleanup efforts continue to be assessed. The information below provides an overview of the current situation and resources for residents.  

Residents within Kalamazoo County needing shelter or other resources are encouraged to contact 2-1-1 Legislators – Michigan 2-1-1 ( for assistance and support. Meanwhile, non-emergency calls should be directed to 269-888-8911. 

For those displaced or unable to access their homes, The First Assembly of God (5500 Oakland Dr.) will remain open as shelter. 

Kalamazoo County is sharing a link to a damage self-reporting tool that allows users to mark points on a map if they have experienced damage to their homes from the storms on Tuesday, May 7th. This will speed up response and recovery as crews work today to assess damage and assign workers to clear debris and begin our recovery process. Here is the link:   

If you need assistance in the coming days, please do not call 9-1-1 unless it is urgent. Call 2-1-1 to be directed to services anywhere in the affected area. 

Power outages and other electrical issues can be reported by calling Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050. Consumers Energy estimates that most customers will not be restored until 10pm Wednesday, May 8th. Crews have begun their restoration efforts and noted that over 20,000 customers were left without power following the storm.  

Another valuable resource is the American Red Cross of Southwest Michigan. They serve Allegan, Calhoun, Cass, Berrien, Branch, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Van Buren counties. They can be contacted at (269) 353-6180. 


Stay Safe, Stay Home.  

The City of Portage is urging residents in affected areas to stay home on Wednesday, May 8. We expect many downed power lines, damage to many residential and commercial buildings, and trees blocking roads. Staying off the roads allows our first responders to do their job and get to those who need help.  

While ground teams work to assess and assist with damage, please utilize the information sheet FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) provides about protecting yourself during a power outage: FEMA Power Outage Tips. You can also contact FEMA at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or TTY users can call 1-800-462-7585. 

Clean-up Tips from EGLE 

In the aftermath of tornados and severe storms that caused widespread damage on May 7 in southwest Michigan, residents and businesses impacted by the incident are assessing the destruction and conducting cleanup efforts. As they begin this work, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) offers basic guidance on how to manage debris. 

From addressing immediate hazards to exploring disposal options, EGLE urges residents to follow guidelines set by the state. 

EGLE offers the following guidelines: 

  • After evacuation, be sure to check with local authorities before returning. Upon arrival at the property, conduct a visual inspection to check for any downed power lines. 
  • Itemize items on property, with special attention to hazardous materials such as paint, motor oil and solvents. For a list of common types of household hazardous waste and local household hazardous waste collection contacts, visit 
  • Use caution when walking through obstructions or large debris piles to avoid hidden hazards, such as nails and other sharp objects. 
  • Residents and business owners should treat storm-related construction and demolition debris as potentially containing asbestos and maintain it in a wet condition until disposal. For more information on handling asbestos waste, visit 
  • Debris from homes and businesses should be collected for disposal. This includes structural materials, roofing, insulation, siding, appliances, carpet, furniture and other household items. Otsego County will coordinate mass debris collection and disposal in conjunction with the State Emergency Operations Center. Residents who do not independently manage waste disposal are encouraged to contact local and county municipalities for specific directions. 
  • Storm-generated woody and vegetative debris such as trees and untreated wood should be sorted and allowed to dry. These items can be chipped into mulch, composted or saved for municipal collection in areas that do so. 
  • Air quality regulations only allow open burning of trees, logs, brush and stumps. For questions about open burning, visit 

Additional Resources: 

After the Disaster- Resources from

The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) has provided the following content to guide you through initiating insurance claims.  

Damage to your home as a result of severe weather may mean lifted shingles, damaged siding, or possibly a broken window.  After the Disaster (see below) provides helpful tips on how to initiate the claim process. Insurance companies will only provide benefits for damages as a result of a covered loss.  If hail and high winds lift shingles off your roof, a homeowner’s policy only covers the portion of the roof that has been damaged; the insurance company is not required to replace the entire roof. Review DIFS’ Homeowners section and the declaration page of your policy to ensure that you understand the type of policy you have.  

Once a claim is filed with the insurance company they will begin to investigate the loss. It is important to know the deductible you’ll be responsible to cover prior to your insurance company paying the claim. Once your claim is received by the insurance company, they will begin their investigation. There is not a time limit for the insurer to complete the investigation. Stay in contact with the company to see if there is additional information needed regarding the claim. If you believe the amount of time is unreasonable, you may consider filing a complaint with DIFS. 

After the Disaster 

  • Contact your insurance agent or your insurance company’s toll-free claims number as soon as possible. Keep a record of the time, date, topic and name of the person you talk to every time you call (Insurance Tracking Sheet). 
  • As a policyholder, you have the obligation to make temporary repairs as needed to prevent further damage. For example, a hole in the roof should be covered by a tarp or other material to keep water or other weather elements out. Further damage may not be covered by insurance if temporary repairs are not completed. Keep receipts for materials you buy so you can be reimbursed. Do not make permanent repairs until your insurance company has inspected the damage. If you do, your claim might be denied. 
  • Take pictures, if possible, of the damage. 
  • Start making a list of all personal property destroyed or damaged. Note the approximate date, price, and place of purchase and attach any sales receipts you have. The adjuster will request this information. In addition, the insurance company may want to inspect the damaged items, so do not throw anything away. 
  • Ask your insurance agent or company if your policy covers living expenses until repairs are made to your home. Many homeowners’ policies provide for temporary lodging and meal expenses up to 20 percent of the insured value of your home. 
  • If you own a business ask about business interruption coverage, which will help cover a loss of income a business may suffer while the damage is being repaired. 
  • Your insurance company may have a preferred contractor or repair facility list. You are not obligated to use their suggestion and have the right to choose whoever you feel comfortable using. 
  • A “public adjuster”, or a person licensed by the state, may offer to represent you in claim negotiations with your insurer. Public adjusters will seek part of your settlement as payment for their services; however, their fee cannot exceed 10% of the loss settlement amount.  You are not required to hire a public adjuster to file a claim. 

We Are Here to Help You!  

If you have any questions or additional assistance, please contact my office. We want to do our best to help you during this difficult time. You can email me at or call 517-373-5100.