We’re all in this winter together, so chip in

As was evidenced by the natural gas emergency late last month, we all need to pull our weight as Michiganders and Midwesterners to survive our beautiful — but often harsh –winters.

In case you missed it, a Consumers Energy natural gas compressor station caught fire during the last week of January, raising fears about a natural gas shortage even as areas around the state hit record-low wind-chill temperatures. Consumers and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer asked already-shivering Michiganders to turn back the dial on their thermostats to preserve the supply.

It worked. While not all Michiganders answered the call — and many scoffed at the very notion of it — enough of us threw on an extra sweater and turned back the dial to help us through the emergency.

On a much smaller scale, the City of Alpena is asking for sacrifice, too. Reporter Steve Schulwitz reported recently on the Alpena Fire Department’s plea to residents to shovel snow away from fire hydrants. Having a patch cut through the snow from the road to the hydrant saves first responders precious seconds when they arrive to battle a blaze. House fires cost all of us, whether they’re at our homes or not, by raising insurance rates and diverting taxpayer-funded public resources.

So the city is asking each of us to sacrifice an extra few minutes shoveling a lifesaving path to the fire hydrants so we can all benefit.

Both stories offer, on a large and on a small scale, examples of how we all must pitch in and do our part.

We’re all in this winter together, dear readers.