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CONSUMERS POWER TEAMS UP WITH RED CROSS TO OFFER HELP TO LIFE-SUPPORT CUSTOMERS

 CONSUMERS POWER TEAMS UP WITH RED CROSS
 TO OFFER HELP TO LIFE-SUPPORT CUSTOMERS
 JACKSON, Mich., March 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers Power Company and the American Red Cross announced today that they are teaming up to offer help to electric customers who depend on electrically powered life- support equipment.
 An insert being sent out with Consumers Power bills during April will ask life-support customers who may need help during an electric outage to identify themselves by completing and returning an enrollment form included with their bill. Consumers Power will place a special "Life Support" notation on each customer's account. The names and addresses of these customers will then be shared with the appropriate local chapter of the American Red Cross.
 Local American Red Cross chapters will keep each customer's name and address on file for use during a major electric outage. Information on the Red Cross' disaster relief program is available from local chapters upon request.
 The utility cautioned that this program will not enable it to restore electric service to life-support customers faster than other customers during a major outage. Due to a large number of life-support households that could be affected in a major outage and the fact that they are scattered throughout the utility's service area, logistics make this impossible. Rather, the utility is trying to ensure that customers who depend on electrically powered life-support equipment receive emergency help, if help is needed.
 "Consumers Power is working hard to reduce the number of outages our customers experience. Unfortunately, some electric outages are unavoidable, especially when severe weather is involved," said Carl English, the utility's vice president of energy distribution services. "By enlisting the help of local Red Cross Chapters across Michigan, we are trying to ensure that no one's health is endangered by a widespread outage," English said.
 "Under our Disaster Relief Program, the Red Cross can help people who face critical health situations during a lengthy power outage," said Marilyn Vineyard, chairman of the Michigan Association of Red Cross Executives. "Red Cross staff and volunteers work with emergency-service agencies county by county to make sure that people's emergency needs are met."
 People who want to contact their local Red Cross chapter can look under American Red Cross in the white pages of their local telephone directory.
 The American Red Cross is an independent, voluntary body that has been assisting disaster victims since 1881. It was chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1905 and today operates through a network of more than 2,700 chapters across America.
 Consumers Power Company, the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy Corporation (NYSE: CMS), is Michigan's largest natural gas and electric utility serving almost 6 million of the state's 9 million residents in 67 of the 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
 -0- 3/30/92
 /CONTACT: Kelly Farr of Consumers Power, 517-788-2394; or Cheryl Armstrong of the American Red Cross, 517-484-7461/
 (CMS) CO: Consumers Power Company; American Red Cross; CMS Energy Corp. ST: Michigan IN: UTI HEA SU: PDT


ML -- DE005 -- 2717 03/30/92 08:58 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 30, 1992
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