As we said in 4 Tips to Keep Pipes from Freezing during the Winter in Texas, the Texas winter comes in all shapes and sizes depending on where you live. And just when we thought 2020 was bad enough, 2021 came rolling in with a record-breaking winter storm that blew through the entire state (even into places that have never seen snow!).
In February 2021, the extreme cold (some areas even experiencing sub zero temperatures) had both homeowners and renters realizing how serious it was to not only ensure pipes were protected from freezing over and bursting, but also protecting the home from a myriad of costly problems due to not being winterized.
Especially when there’s rolling power outages for extended periods of time.
Winterizing your Texas home to prepare for the freezing winter temperatures and protecting it when power outages (or blackouts) occur is crucial to the wear-and-tear of your property. But there are also many things Texans learned from LIVING in a winter storm without the electricity needed to stay warm and survive.
Protect Your Pipes
Many homes experienced the unfortunate mishap of busted pipes during the winter storm. Due to rolling power outages, the lack of heat inside many homes froze over pipes and the rest is history. Check out these 4 Tips to Keep Pipes from Freezing during the Winter in Texas.
For those who lucky enough to have gas water heaters (instead of electric water heaters), they could continue enjoying the comforts of a hot shower and even having water itself to use in their home.
But when a winter storm is expected to blow your way, one of the things you can do to prepare for a possible pipe freeze over or non-working water heater is to fill your tub with water.
This water can be used to fill up toilet bowls to flush, fill a portable filter for drinking water, use for sponge baths, and other purposes. Once the power comes back on or if you have a gas stovetop, you can use any available water to boil in case your drinking water may be contaminated or to use for a hot drink to stay warm.
It’s also important to be acutely aware if your city puts out a boil water notice in case the water system has low pressure, which can cause harmful bacteria to get in the water. Boiling water helps remove that bacteria and make it safe to drink (including water for your pets). Of course you gotta let it cool down first before drinking!
Without electricity during a winter storm, your home can get to strikingly low temperatures that can be dangerous to stay in for long periods of time. If it’s too dangerous to drive somewhere that has a warming station, get a hotel room, or go to a public place that has heat, then it’s important to bundle up as much as possible and stay warm.
Lots of blankets and winter gear like warm socks, gloves, beanies will help. But make sure your clothes are always dry — any condensation, wetness or sweat inside of your warm clothes can actually cause hypothermia.
If you have a gas or wood burning fireplace, keep that going as long as possible to warm up your space. But be careful about any gas-operated system like a fireplace to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
If you have a gas stovetop or fireplace, these are great items to have when power goes out and you need to stay warm. A gas stovetop even allows you to cooked canned goods or other food as needed.
However, with these gas-operated systems, you must be mindful about how you’re using it to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
If you feel any kind of carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms, step outside immediately to get fresh air and call 9-1-1 to let them know you think you might be experiencing this kind of poisoning. Do not assume it’s just a headache or achy stomach because it’s better to be safe than sorry — this kind of poisoning can be deadly.
Be extremely careful about propane tank fire pits, grills or other items indoors. These are NOT meant to be used indoors so if you don’t have a strong ventilation system going it can quickly cause this poisoning as it would sitting in a garage with your car on.
Insulate Windows and Doors
Sure, it seems dark and gloomy to close your blinds and curtains when you’re stuck indoors. But doing so can help insulate your home and keep the warm air in longer as you face a power outage.
Closing all the doors to your home will also isolate the heat and heat up more quickly in the area you are located instead of it being spread thin throughout the home. Put towels under door cracks or other door cracks where outside wind may be drifting in.
If there are multiple people living in your home, try to all remain in the same room to also help with keeping the space warm.
Preserve Your Phone Battery
When you’re stuck at home, the easiest thing to do is to scroll through your phone. But if you have no way of charging your phone on the regular, you must be careful about draining your phone battery in case of an emergency.
If your car is outside, you can go out there to warm up the car and charge your phone if it has charging capabilities. Do not charge your phone in an ignited car that’s inside of a garage, or it could cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
If you have a portable charger, make sure you will have a way to charge it up. It’s best to save your portable phone charger to use it only when you need it, not to continue browsing your phone.
Find other ways of staying entertained if possible, such as reading a book, journaling, doodling, playing a game, doing a craft, cleaning the house, organizing your pantry, or any other kind of productive activity.
Check on Your Neighbors
Especially if you have elderly neighbors, it’s important to check on them to ensure they are okay. If needed, any of your neighbors who are living alone or elderly, it could be a good idea to join together at someone’s house to stay warm instead of facing the cold by yourself where no one is there when you need it.
A neighbor may also have supplies to share if needed, such as water bottles, food or firewood.
When to Contact Basin Water Solutions
When it comes to reverse osmosis, water softeners, filters, and ways to improve the quality of your water sources in West Texas, Central Texas and North Texas, contact Basin Water Solutions today. We have over 40 years of industry experience when it comes to water filtration systems and helped many residents in our local communities vastly improve the taste and quality of their water.
Basin Water Solutions specializes in the water improvement needs of both residential and commercial properties and can assist you in finding the best water solution based on your specific needs. Whether your goal is to have contaminant-free water drinking water for your home or business, they will provide you with options that best suit your requirements, expectations, and budget.