The weather in Texas changes constantly — below freezing one day, 75 and sunny the next. But when things like last year’s snowpocalypse hit, having a plan is crucial. Here are some easy things you can do, and available resources, to prepare for another possible winter storm in Austin.
One of the best ways to keep that water running is properly insulating any exposed pipes, this, along with keeping faucets dripping are a huge help to keeping pipes unfrozen. Tools to do this can be picked up from a local hardware store!
Stock up on blankets
If the power does go out, you’ll want to have loads of blankets not only to snuggle up under, but also to cover up windows and doors — or anywhere that heat tends to escape from, as this will help further insulate your home and keep the chill at bay!
Buy a portable battery
Having a portable battery, or a few, can be helpful for a number of reasons. Being able to keep your phone charged is crucial for emergencies… and for staving off boredom when there’s nothing else to do. You may be tempted to charge your phone and warm up in your car, but remember that Texas literally ran out of gas last year, so if you do too, there goes that plan.
Get plenty of water
It’s recommended that a person have one gallon of water per day available for drinking, so take into account your household when stocking up. Remember to prepare in advance, because grocery stores were without power for days during last year’s winter storm in Austin. You’ll also want to have clean water for washing dishes and bathing — in case you can’t boil water. Snow is perfect for filling up toilets though!
Buy non-perishable foods
You’ll want to have a solid supply of dry and canned goods, and if possible fruits/veggies that keep well. In the event that you don’t have power, you’ll also want foods that don’t require any heat to make. People with gas stoves you’re in luck — you can safely light your stove with a lighter.
What about using a generator or camping stove?
Generators and camping stoves can be great tools for cooking food and keeping things powered up. However, for the most part they can only be used outside, so keep that in mind if you’re wanting to get one. There is also this DuraHeat Kerosene Heater from Home Depot that claims to be safe for indoor use!
Get plenty of food and water
Not just about human food — you’ll want to have a solid supply of your pet’s food, and safe drinking water on hand!
Have blankets and coats
Pets get cold too! Make sure you have spare blankets and even coats to keep them toasty and warm.
Plan for how they’ll use the bathroom
If your pet isn’t used to snow, you may want to set up an area where they can use the restroom either inside or possibly in the garage.