By Marcy Stellfox
El Niño or no, you know it’s going to happen. Whether it’s a week or just a few days, some winter weather will hit the Hill Country. The thing that can make it so tough is the unpredictability of it all. And because these crazy winter weather things are so few and far between, we’ve not got much experience in navigating the stuff. Thanks to the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS), there are a few preparations you can take that will make those inevitable winter weather days more bearable.
Listen to the weather forecast and take precautions in advance. Your local weather channel, news station or NOAA should be most accurate and up to date.
Rarely, does Texas winter weather last a week, but TxDPS suggests loading up on a week’s worth of non-perishable food, plus a gallon of water per person a day. Have those coolers and ice chests on hand for keeping your goods chilled.
Prescriptions and pet supplies are another must on the prep list. Make sure you’ve got any necessary drugs for yourself, your family and your pets on hand as well as food and plenty of water for your four legged critters. Bring those critters and plants inside. Plan for those such as the elderly and the young that need special supplies. Have a first aid kit within easy access.
Ice storms are notorious for knocking out electricity. Keep flashlights, batteries and battery operated radios nearby for use if the power should go out. Keep cell phones handy and charged. Don’t forget car adapters are available for cell phone charging too. Have plenty of logs on hand for a fire too to keep your home warm during an extended electricity outage. Don’t use your oven to heat your home. Be careful outside as ice weighs heavy on branches and can cause even the strongest trees to become unstable. Stay away from icy powerlines as well.