Hundreds of thousands remain without power in Texas amid frigid temperatures and icy roads, and the Northeast is bracing for a blast of bitterly freezing air that forecasters say could be the coldest felt in decades.
Texas has been bearing the brunt of a dangerous ice storm that dumped several rounds of sleet and freezing rain, causing life-threatening road conditions in surrounding states including Oklahoma, Arkansas, and parts of Tennessee.
Although raising temperatures will bring relief to many Texans, nearly 400,000 homes and businesses remain without power, according to PowerOutage.us.
Here are some tips to help you weather the storm – especially if you don’t have power:
- Stay inside and dress in warm, layered clothing.
- Close off unneeded rooms.
- When using an alternative heat source, follow operating instructions, use fire safeguards and be sure to properly ventilate.
- Stuff towels and rags underneath doors to keep the heat in.
- Cover windows at night. Use heavy shades or curtains to keep the heat from escaping.
- To prevent the pipes from freezing, let cold water drip from the faucet.
- When you take your pup outside, watch out for potential harm, such as icicles, downed power lines, or ice patches and be sure to clean their paws after coming inside so that they don’t lick any snow-melting salt and potentially get sick.
- Avoid driving right away. Give time to road crews to clear the roads and watch out for black ice.
- Limit non-emergency phone calls as this minimizes network congestion. Texting is better for keeping phone lines open and keep a portable charger nearby.
- Lastly, stay informed. Listen to your local authorities, whether through local radio, TV or NOAA Weather Radio stations or channels.