We're Texans - which means we are NOT winter weather experts! Even if you lived previously in a cold place, the true Texan in you has removed any knowledge of said cold weather expertise and replaced it with thoughts about breakfast tacos. If you're new to town or don't have any experience with the cold - hopefully this post will help get you ready! Stay warm, y'all!
What to "stock up" on:
-Batteries & flashlights
-Bottled water for drinking (FEMA recommends storing one gallon of water per person per day. In this case, I would recommend at least a 3 day supply given the forecast. If you have pets, make sure you stock up on water for them as well!)
-Water for additional uses (You can fill up a tub, container, or buy a 5 gallon water jug to use for toilets and other emergency needs)
-Three day supply of non-perishable food per person + pets (Sandwich fixings, pasta salad, dips, salad, snacks, etc are ideal in the event of a power outage)
-Blankets, socks/gloves, hats, and cold weather gear
-Firewood, firestarter, etc
-Candles & matches/lighter
-First aid supplies + medicine
How to prepare:
Ensure you have access to weather updates (including in the event of a power outage!)
Charge all phones, phone battery banks, radios, etc
Make sure flashlights are working and have backup batteries
Check to make sure your heating is working correctly
Keep pets inside and provide them with toys/treats to curb their boredom
Insulate any part of your home that has a draft (Windows, doors)
Wrap and cover exposed pipes
Know where your water shutoff is and how to shutoff water if needed
Drip faucets + open cabinets to keep pipes warm
Make sure your vehicle is filled with gas/charged and winter ready. Keep additional non-perishable food/water in your car as well as gloves/coats/cold weather gear. Include a flashlight + phone charger if possible.
Consider investing in a backup power source
Check in with family & friends. Set a plan and communicate with them in the event of an emergency
Salt any outdoor ramps/steps/sidewalks that may become slippery
Grab a book, coloring book, puzzle, game, or other activity that will keep you busy + happy in the event of a power outage. Have non-electronic activities for pets and children at your home as well.
Fill tubs or containers with extra water to use if needed
Stay safe! Don't leave fires or space heaters unattended. If you seek warmth in your car, ensure it in not in an enclosed space or in your garage! Know the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. Consider getting a carbon monoxide detector alarm - they are between $10-20 at Walmart or Target and worth it!
Don't drive if the roads get bad unless absolutely necessary (Even if you're a pro-winter driver! Others are not!) Plan out a route that won't require driving on bridges, overpasses, etc
Stay inside & warm!
How to help others:
If it's one thing Houstonians are amazing for, it's knowing how to come together during inclement weather! Here's how you can help others:
-Check with friends, family, & neighbors. Ask if they need any help preparing. Set up an emergency plan and keep open communication
-Offer to help elderly/disabled/young/sick neighbors & friends to prepare for the storm
-Provide extra blankets, gloves, water, hats, etc to the homeless in your area or to a shelter
-Leave out food/water and blankets or a covered space for animals
-Don't overstock or hoard supplies! I promise that H-E-B will have more water/bread/eggs/and queso dip in just a few days!
-Don't Doordash, Uber, or order out if the roads get bad - it could be a safety hazard for all
-Minimize any driving in order to keep the roads clear for emergencies
Stay warm, y'all!
I know many of us hate the cold - but we'll get through this! Being prepared and checking for updates frequently will help ensure you're ready for any crazy weather situation!
Want to find community here in Houston?! Join our social club "Hard To Make Friends As An Adult" and follow me @meetwithmacey to reclaim your social life & find friends/community that you can send snow memes to when it's below freezing one day out of the year LOL!