Tips for Freezing Temperatures in Austin and Where to Go to Stay Warm

It’s gonna be cold! Here’s what you should do.

A house in South Austin during 2021’s Winter Storm Uri (Photo by Jana Birchum)

With cold weather on the horizon, all Austinites are encouraged to take precautions – the so-called “four Ps”:

People: Dress warmly for going outside, and in the case of a power outage, don’t heat your home with an oven, grill, 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.

For more information on winter weather preparedness, visit


The Homeless Strategy Office determines when to activate cold weather shelters by 9am every day based on National Weather Service (NWS) projections. They activate these shelters under certain conditions: if the forecast is predicted to be 32 degrees or colder overnight, 35 degrees or colder overnight with precipitation, or 35 degrees or colder overnight with wind chill of 32 or colder, per a city news release.

Registration for shelter occurs between 6 and 8pm at One Texas Center at 505 Barton Springs Rd. Bus rides for people seeking a cold weather shelter are free and routes to One Texas Center are lines: 1, 7, 10, 20, 30, 105, 142, 801. CapMetro and the city transport people from there to a shelter location.

Find more information here, or by calling the Cold Weather Shelter Hotline at 512/972-5055.


When severe winter weather is in the forecast, all parks and library facilities can serve as warming centers during their normal operating hours. Service animals are permitted.

Per a city of Austin press release: “A Warming Center is a safe place where anyone in the community can come inside to get temporary relief from the cold weather during normal operating hours. Pets are not permitted inside Warming Centers. If someone arrives with a pet, facility staff will contact Animal Services to provide pet support.”

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