How to prepare for winter storms

Photo courtesy of Leila De La Cruz

Last year, Texas suffered a ravenous winter cold front between Feb. 13-17 of 2021, which left impacts lasting days for some and months for others. With the ERCOT power grid failing and many Texans not being used to the effects of colder climates, people were left unprepared.

Since the ERCOT power grid is not connected to any of the major grids in the United States, Texans were not able to receive a transfer of allocated power leading to long lasting power outages, which left the state without a source of heat. Many were also without water for a majority of the storm as well as no access to necessities such as food, internet or methods of transportation.

With Sam Houston University canceling all classes after noon starting on Feb. 3 to the 4 due to potential weather concerns, the Walker County area saw a potential glimpse of the storm that occurred the previous year.

Although the weather did not develop into the kind of storm Texas saw last year, the winter season is far from over. In order to avoid or lessen the effect of what occurred last year, it is important to remain prepared for any and all possible outcomes.

Below are some tips listed to assist in remaining ready if there is another potential time when we might face drastically cold weather:

  1. Stock up on non-perishable food and water.
  2. Make sure your pets, if you have any, also have food stocked up.
  3. Make sure all needed electronics are charged.
  4. Leave your faucets dripping.
  5. Lower thermostat to around 65 degrees.
  6. Have a back up light source in case the power goes out (candles or flashlights).
  7. Fill up your car with gas in case of necessary evacuation.
  8. Roads may be iced so do not drive outside unless absolutely necessary.
  9. Make sure you are following the local news to see if any emergency notices are broadcasted. In case of a power outage, it might be necessary to have a battery-operated radio to follow the news.
  10. For entertainment purposes, pick up a good book, download your favorite movie or have some board games on hand.

These are only a few pointers to help in devising a plan if there is a notice of a winter storm. Pay attention to local news channels or government entities for information as to what might need to be done for preparation.

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