Get Ready: Winter Weather on its Way

Commonsense prep to get ahead of the cold

via Getty Images

With freezing temperatures anticipated starting Thursday, Austinites are encouraged to take precautions – in particular, the so-called “four Ps”:

People: Dress warmly for going outside, and don’t heat your home with a generator, grill, camp-stove, or any gasoline, propane, or charcoal-burning device because they generate deadly carbon monoxide gas.

Pets: Bring your pets inside.

Pipes: Insulate or cover exposed pipes to protect them from freezing, turn off outside faucets, drip one faucet only if needed, and make sure you know where your water main shutoff is located.

Plants: Cover your plants or bring them indoors.

The chance of precipitation is currently low, but city officials are still urging emergency preparedness. It’s a good time to check your emergency kit, including flashlights, batteries, and ample food and water for all humans and pets. Follow Austin Emergency Management on Twitter at @AustinHSEM for updates, and visit for more information and to sign up for emergency alerts.

Additionally, the city is preparing to activate cold weather shelters for people experiencing homelessness. The decision to activate will be made by 9am each morning, and is determined by the forecast (if the temp is predicted to be 32 degrees or colder overnight; 35 degrees, with rain/wet; or 35 degrees, with wind chill of 32 or colder). To check on activation status, you can call the Cold Weather Shelter hotline at 512/305-ICEE (4233); if shelters are activated, that’s also the number to call to find out where to go to register for a space in a shelter.

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