Texans have shown their mettle once again in the face of Nature’s fury. As polar weather patterns shifted to dump historic amounts of snow on ill prepared Southerners, temperatures not only dropped but uncharacteristically remained stuck in below freezing conditions. A dusting of snow is nothing new to us. We can make ludicrously small snowmen with the best of ‘em. A prolonged icy scenario however, despite the beauty of it, is not something we are remotely prepared for.
As demand for heat spiked, the un-weatherized power plants across the state began to fail catastrophically, leaving millions of Texans in the frigidly cold darkness. Some of our Stanberry agents were left without power or a heat source for over 100 hours. Subfreezing temperature inside your home, especially for the elderly or those with compromised health, is a potentially deadly situation for any of us.
As we’ve done so many times before with hurricanes, floods, tornados and more, Texans came out in droves to take care of our fellow citizens. Despite living in a pandemic, volunteers rushed out to make sure neighbors stuck in their homes with no power or water were safe. Municipalities opened warming centers all over the state in schools, churches, local retail spaces and more. Restaurants prepared thousands of meals for folks with no ability to prepare food for themselves and drivers carried those in need to spaces where they could be warm and hydrated. Texas exceptionalism certainly is alive and well in this aspect.
Volunteer efforts continue and more assistance is needed. Do512Family.com put together a comprehensive list of places Central Texans can go to get clean water or a meal and we’ll put that link here and put the text below since we understand some people are not able to access some messaging with many photos or links.
Austin Winter Resources Link from Do512Family.com
Find Dripping Springs Resources Here
Find Bastrop Resources Here
In the meantime, check on your neighbors, walk around your property to assess any damage and take photos of any damage you do spot for insurance purposes, and get out there to lend a hand where you can. There is a LOT of clean up that needs to happen and it can start with you.
Need a plumber, roofer, electrician or other home related professional? Call your favorite Stanberry today. We have relationships with quality vendors that we are happy to share with you.
Take care of each other out there, y’all.
We hope you are staying well and warm right now. We know that circumstances are awful for so many. Below we’re simply sharing some resources that might be helpful. For more detailed information, please refer to the Travis County Cold Weather Resource Guide from the Office of Travis County Judge, Andy Brown.
Boil Water Notice: Austin Water has issued a city-wide Boil Water Notice which means that Austin residents should boil water prior to washing hands/face, brushing teeth, drinking, etc. The water should be brought to a vigorous rolling boil for two minutes. Children, seniors, and persons with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to harmful bacteria. To ensure destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for drinking, cooking, and ice making should be boiled and cooled prior to use for drinking water or human consumption purposes.
Local Businesses Offering Free Water (2/19): (Bring your own containers)
Emergency Food Distribution (2/19):
- Navarro High School (1201 Payton Gin Rd) – 2:30 p.m.
- Millennium Center (1156 Hargrave) – 2:30 p.m.
- Dove Springs Rec Ctr (5801 Ainez) – 1:30 p.m.
- Dailey Middle (14000 Westall) – 2 p.m.
Local Businesses Open Today:
Do512 has put together a list of places that are open today
, if you need to get out for food or supplies (but please be extra careful on the roads).
Warming Centers: Families with children in need of a warming center can get the latest information by calling 512-305-4233. The City of Austin and AISD have opened the following centers from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
- Lee Elementary, 3308 Hampton Rd. Austin, TX 78705
- Murchison Middle School, 3700 N Hills Dr. Austin, TX 78731
Joslin Elementary, 4500 Menchaca Rd, Austin, TX 78745
Barrington Elementary, 400 Cooper Dr, Austin, TX 78753
- Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Rd., Austin, TX 78704 (currently at capacity)
- Mendez Middle School, 5106 Village Square Dr., Austin, TX 78744
- Del Valle High School, 5201 Ross Road, Del Valle, TX 78617
- Reilly Elementary, 405 Denson Dr, 78752
- Several churches are also opening their doors as warming centers. For an updated list, please view this info from the Austin Disaster Relief Network.
In the areas surrounding Austin, you can find these warming centers open today:
- Georgetown Recreation Center, 1003 N. Austin Ave., Georgetown
- Leander High School, 3301 S. Bagdad Rd., Leander
- HOME Center of Central Texas, Hays County (Call 512-270-8344 to confirm availability)
- Southside Community Center, 518 S. Guadalupe St., San Marcos (Call 512-557-0795 to confirm availability)
- Baca Center, 301 W. Bagdad Ave., Building 2, Round Rock (Call 512-943-1700 to confirm availability)
- Taylor ISD Administrative, 3101 Main St., Taylor
For anyone interested and able to lend a hand at a warming center, please fill out the volunteer form at https://bit.ly/keepaustinwarm through the Austin Disaster Relief Network. You can also contact them at 512-808-0800.
Helpful Info & How-To Guides:
Road Safety: Texas Department of Transportation obviously advises you to stay off the roads. But if you must drive, please use extreme caution. Information on road conditions is available at DriveTexas or by phone at (800) 452-9292. Consider these driving tips IF you really MUST go out include:
- Slow down. Speed limits are based on normal road and weather conditions, not winter road conditions.
- Maintain at least three times the normal following distance on snow or ice.
- Watch carefully for snow removal equipment and stay at least 200 feet behind snow plows.
- Use extra caution on bridges, ramps, overpasses and shaded areas as they tend to freeze first.
- If your vehicle starts to slide, ease off the gas pedal or brakes. Steer into the direction of the skid until you have regained traction. Then straighten your vehicle.
Reminders About Carbon Monoxide Dangers: The Texas Department of State Health Services is urging people to use extreme caution with electric generators and heat sources that produce carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is an odorless and invisible gas produced by burning gasoline, propane, wood, charcoal and other fuel. If it builds up in a confined space and people breathe it in, it can replace the oxygen in their blood leading to carbon monoxide poisoning and death.
- Generators should only be placed outdoors at least 10 feet away from buildings. They should never be operated indoors or in garages.
- Likewise, cars should not be run inside a garage, even with the door open, because carbon monoxide can build up, leading to death.
- Outdoor grills, camp stoves and other appliances meant for open-air use should not be used to heat a home because they, too, create carbon monoxide.
More Community Resources: If you are in need of food and cannot leave your home, call the city’s emergency food line at 211. The city’s 311 line is also back up and running.