Although known for its sunny climate, Texas is not immune from the effects of winter weather. Every year winter weather and storms affect portions of the state, stranding motorists and occasionally shutting down towns and cities. While North Texas and the Panhandle are the most likely to experience winter events, storms can stretch as far as South Texas and the Coastal Bend. Regardless of where you reside make sure you and your family are prepared in case of winter weather events.
Winter Storm Emergency Supplies and Tips
Emergency supplies for a winter or ice storm are similar to supplies needed in any emergency – but there are some additional items. These include kitty litter or sand to keep sidewalks and steps clear of ice, a windshield scraper for the car, warm clothes and extra blankets. Remember, in a severe ice storm, lines may be down and power out for a week or more.
Make sure you have the following basic emergency supplies on hand in preparation for a winter weather event:
Remember animals are particularly vulnerable to extreme outdoor elements. Do NOT leave your pets exposed to the cold during a winter weather event. If you have outdoor pets ensure they are properly protected from the cold by bring them indoors or providing other adequate shelter.
If heavy ice on power lines cuts utility service, be extremely careful using generators or gas powered equipment. Carbon monoxide (CO) is invisible, odorless and deadly. It can build up in a matter of minutes. Do not use generators, charcoal grills or gas grills inside the house, garage or enclosed space. Do not try to heat the house using a gas range or oven.
Winter Weather Vehicle Safety
When winter storms threaten, monitor broadcast media and NOAA Weather Radio for up to date information before getting on the roads. You can also monitor road conditions by visiting Drive Texas or calling 1-800-452-9292. Always keep your gas tank full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines. On icy roads, drive slowly and increase distance required for stopping. Watch for downed trees and power lines across roads. If power is out, treat all intersections as four-way stops.
Keep the following emergency supplies in your vehicle in case you encounter winter weather on the road:
After The Storm
When severe winter and ice storms strike in Texas, the power may be out for several days. Here are some safety tips for keeping you and your family safe as you wait for power to be restored:
Some populations are particularly vulnerable during winter storms. For more information on helping these populations properly prepare and stay safe please visit:
For additional information and tips on preparing for winter weather visit: