GUIDE: What to do during a freeze in Texas

The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for much of the Greater Austin area from Jan. 16 at 3 a.m. through Jan. 17 at 6 a.m.

The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for much of the Greater Austin area from Jan. 16 at 3 a.m. through Jan. 17 at 6 a.m.

Freezing weather is expected to move into the Greater Houston area during Tuesday morning through the evening, according to the National Weather Service. Here are five tips to stay safe during below freezing temperatures in Texas.



  1. Prevent frozen pipes


The Texas Department of Public Safety recommends wrapping pipes in newspaper or another insulating material and leaving faucets dripping overnight to avoid freezing.

Homeowners should also know how to shut off their homes' water supply in case a pipe bursts.

Garden hoses and sprinklers should also be disconnected to avoid bursting from frozen water.





2. Protect pets
Texas state law prohibits dog owners from leaving animals restrained outdoors when weather conditions are below 32 degrees and between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.





3. Drive safely
The Texas Department of Transportation has advised drivers to be aware of road conditions when driving when temperatures are below freezing, particularly on bridges and overpasses, which are more susceptible to freezing.

In case of ice or snow, drivers are advised to leave three times the following distance between cars to avoid accidents.

Drivers are also advised to keep a full tank of gas to prevent freezing in the gas tank and lines, according to the Texas DPS.





4. Protect plants
Plants, gardens and flowerbeds should be covered to trap heat energy from the ground, according to the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service.





5. Keep warm


If residents need to be outside during the freeze, the National Weather Service recommends dressing in 2-3 layers, including gloves and a warm hat.

Homeowners with carbon monoxide detectors should check to ensure batteries are working. Carbon monoxide poisoning risks can be higher when using heaters and fireplaces.

For more on winter weather safety, be sure to check the National Weather Service's winter weather infographics.  


By Wendy Sturges
A Houston native and graduate of St. Edward's University in Austin, Wendy Sturges has worked as a community journalist covering local government, health care, business and development since 2011. She has worked with Community Impact since 2015 as a reporter and editor and moved to Tennessee in 2019.


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