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5 Urgent Tips to Prepare for Winter Weather in the Texas Hill Country

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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.

5 Urgent Tips to Prepare for Winter Weather

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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.

Stock Up at the Store

5 Urgent Tips to Prepare for Winter Weather

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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.

Plan for Others

5 Urgent Tips to Prepare for Winter Weather

Photo: pixabay.com

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.

Prepare for Power Outage

5 Urgent Tips to Prepare for Winter Weather

Photo: pixabay.com

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.

Stay Alive, Don’t Drive

5 Urgent Tips to Prepare for Winter Weather

Photo: morguefile.com

We all are familiar with the “Turn around, don’t drown” mantra. The same precautions should be taken when trying to drive in wintery weather. Pay attention to recommendations made by Texas Department of Transportation. Check this link for the latest on roadway conditions: www.txdot.gov. If they tell you not to drive, don’t do it unless absolutely necessary.

Dress for the Weather

5 Urgent Tips to Prepare for Winter Weather

Photo: morguefile.com

Layers are key with added protection for hands, feet and head. If you must drive, then prep the car too. Have a full tank of gas. Stock the trunk or backseat with blankets. Keep a first aid kit handy. Grab an ice scraper and shovel, a bag of kitty litter or sand to help you out if you get stuck. Bring your cell phone. Bring a snack and water. Toss in a basic tool kit, jumper cables and a tow rope.

For more winter weather tips, check out: www.txdps.state.tx.us.