Steve DiGioia

Surviving Texas Snowstorms: Essential Tips for Safety and Warmth


With a cold front moving into Central Texas, it looks like many folks in Austin will be bundling up in the coming days.

Anticipate strong winds, arctic air, and a remote possibility of wintry mix showers, but the First Warning Weather Team at KXAN does not expect any significant ice buildup.

Before the cold front arrives, here are some tips for locals to prepare for the weather.

Be Ready: Store Food and Water for Emergencies

It’s important to have a supply of non-perishable food that can last for a few days in case of power outages or road closures.

It is advisable to have an adequate supply of drinking water, with at least one gallon per person per day, particularly when prolonged severe weather is expected.

Prepare a Disaster Supply Kit.

Here are some examples of items that could be part of a winter survival kit:

  • Lamps equipped with additional batteries
  • Convenient and backup power sources
  • Portable communication device
  • Medical emergency supplies
  • Prescription medications
  • Storing firestarters in an airtight container
  •  Light Sources.
  • Manual can opener
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Wet wipes
  • Cash

It is advisable to have an emergency supply kit in your car, similar to the one you would keep at home, in case you get stranded.

Make sure to pack essentials like a blanket, warm clothes, a first aid kit, non-perishable food, water, and boots.

Equally important are a snow shovel, windshield scraper, and ice-melting supplies to keep on hand in case of snow or ice.

Prep Your Car for Cold Weather: Gas Up and Inflate Tires

Prior to the storm’s arrival, it is advisable for drivers to ensure their tanks are filled to the recommended level to prevent any issues due to low gasoline levels. It is recommended to fill up the gas tank and make sure to inflate the tires to prevent low pressure or a flat tire.

According to Burt Brothers Tire & Service, the drop in temperature causes the air molecules to contract when cold weather sets in. According to Burt Brothers specialists, tires lose air when the flow of air molecules stops, preventing them from filling the inner area.

Make Sure to Have Heating Supplies Readily Available

Wood storage during a snowfall in Lesachtal, Carinthia, Austria

Make sure to always have plenty of dry firewood on hand for those with fires or wood heaters. During emergencies, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension recommends using kerosene heaters as an alternative heating source for your home.

Avoid burning wood indoors to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s important to place gas-powered portable generators in a dry outdoor location, far from any air openings to prevent potential poisoning hazards.

Make Sure to Bundle up Before Heading Outdoors

It’s important to keep your lips, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, and toes protected with warm, dry clothing when going outside. According to the Red Cross, these body parts are most susceptible to frostbite.

According to the Red Cross, it’s important to dress in layers of open clothing, a coat, a hat, gloves, a scarf, and waterproof boots when it’s very cold.

Remember to Keep in Mind the Four P’s

According to experts, it’s important to take care of people, pets, plants, and pipes before extreme weather or freezing temperatures hit. It’s important for everyone, including pets and plants, to remain indoors during the freeze. Make sure to prepare and wrap the pipes in insulation material before the freeze begins.


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