February 1, 2022
A Winter Storm Warning has been issued for the Austin area beginning Wednesday. The National Weather Service is predicting a very strong arctic cold front will move through Central Texas starting Wednesday afternoon and evening – the coldest so far this winter – bringing freezing temperatures and possibly a wintry mix of freezing rain and sleet.
A bitterly cold wind chill ranging from the teens to single digits could make it dangerous for anyone spending extended time outdoors and not dressed in layers and gloves.
Now is the time to prepare you, yourself, and your families.
Be Medically Prepared
- Check your prescriptions and make sure you have enough to last several days.
- If you have medical equipment that requires electricity, make sure you have an alternate power source.
- If you have a medical appointment, be sure and check the doctor’s office is open.
Make a Kit
Put together an emergency supply kit now with enough supplies for everyone in your house for several days. The kit should include:
- Water, food, first aid and hygiene items
- Flashlights, extra batteries, portable chargers, blankets, and cash.
- Prescription medication, medical supplies and other unique needs for you and your family.
- Supplies for your pet (e.g. food, water, medication)
- Wrap all exposed pipes located outside or in unheated areas of the home.
- Remove garden hoses from outside faucets.
- Cover vents around the foundation of your home.
- Know where your water cut-off valve is located and how to use it. Apply oil such as WD-40 to the valve before operating to help prevent the valve from breaking. The valve should be located near or adjacent to the water meter box.
- Fuel up your car.
During Sub-Freezing Weather
- Drip outside faucets 24 hours a day (5 drops per minute).
- Remove wrappings on outdoor spigots to allow water to drip to the ground.
- Keep wrapping on exposed portion of the pipes that does not obstruct the dripping. Dripping faucets is not necessary unless temperatures are expected to be 28 degrees or below for at least 4 hours. (Be sure to turn off the faucets after the threat of freezing weather.)
- Open cabinet doors under sinks adjacent to outside walls.
- In unheated garages, shut off water to washing machines. Water softeners should be drained and protected from freezing temperatures.
- In sustained sub-freezing weather, let water drip slowly from inside faucets.
- Take extra precautions to protect pipes that have frozen in the past.
If a water line breaks and the cut off valve does not work or you are unable to locate or operate the value, all Austin Water to turn off the water at 512-972-1000, Option 1.
For more information, please visit austinwater.org.
Other good information sources:
- Sign up for Warn Central Texas to receive alerts for your neighborhood letting you know when you need to take immediate action to stay safe.
- Bookmark AustinTexas.gov/Alerts. This page will post key updates throughout an emergency and during recovery.
- Go to the National Weather Service for weather updates.
- Checking on those most vulnerable.
- Emergency kits in cars.
- General preparedness information.