Texas weather can change in a flash. We can experience a winter chill with little warning. Being prepared for any emergency can make all the difference in getting through anything unexpected, like below freezing temperatures. Simple tips and supplies can keep everyone safe – whether you're at home or on the road.
If you're in your home or office:
- Stay inside and have a stocked supply kit for all your emergency needs.
- Move carefully on snowy, icy walkways.
- Dress in layers, cover exposed skin, and keep dry. Wet clothing loses heat rapidly.
- Be careful shoveling snow – take breaks, push the snow aside, and lift lighter loads.
- I f pipes freeze, remove any insulation or layers of newspapers and wrap pipes in rags. Open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they were most exposed to the cold (or where the cold was most likely to penetrate).
- Use space heaters safely. Don't leave them unattended and use ventilation when using/refueling alternative fuel heaters.
- Bring your pets inside and a have emergency supplies for them as well.
- If you're traveling during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55ºF.
If you're traveling:
Only travel is absolutely necessary. Don't get out if you don't have to.
Keep current on road conditions and closures.
If on the roads, slower speeds are safer and give more time to respond to what's around you.
Keep more distance between you and the nearest vehicle – like three times (3X) the normal distance provides a good margin of safety.
Keep at least a half-tank of gas in your car and your cell phone charged.
If you slide or skid – turn your car in the direction of the skid and ease off the gas. Don't hit the brakes and gently regain control and traction.
Have an emergency kit in your car with a first aid kit, jumper cables, blankets, flashlights (with batteries), tool kit, gloves, extra clothes, ice scraper, food and water, and sand or cat litter.
If you are stranded, stay in your car with the hazard lights flashing and wrap up in layers to stay warm. Call for assistance.
If you need help staying warm, please find a place indoors with heating to keep warm. Go to city facilities such as recreational centers or public libraries during normal business hours.
Check out our Get Informed and Get Prepared tabs for more information on local hazards and how to prepare your home and car for safety no matter what the emergency.