Freezing rain, snow and ice can make for great outdoor fun—but can also result in car accidents, hypothermia, and carbon monoxide poisoning from defective heating units. In addition, a few inches of ice can bring down power lines that result in days-long outages. And on the road, that quick trip to grandma’s can turn into an impromptu camp-out in the car. But don’t get your mittens in a twist. With a little planning, you can protect yourself and enjoy some frosty fun!
Winter Weather Safety
- TURN OFF SPRINKLER SYSTEMS, not only will this prevent damage to your system from freezing water, it can prevent hazardous travel on roadways.
- Check your heating source; make sure it's working properly and well ventilated.
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace batteries.
- Keep supplies of water and food on hand.
- Avoid driving on overpasses and bridges- they often freeze more quickly than roads.
- Create a Winter Weather Kit by visiting: www.ready.gov/winter-weather
- Winterize your pipes. Keep faucets dripping when the temperature drops below freezing.
- Ensure the well-being of your pets by providing plenty of food, water, and shelter. Move outdoor cages and pet enclosures away from windows when possible.
- Keep trees and other foliage trimmed and away from power lines. Swaying and broken limbs can rub against or cut power lines causing outages and even fires.
During Power Outages
- Leave on your porch light to let working crews know when power has been restored and only one light inside to help reduce initial demand once power is restored.
- Notify the Texas electric delivery service, ONCOR, immediately to report a power outage by phone at 888-313-4747 or visit the ONCOR website. Have your ESID and zip code ready (your ESID is on your electric bill).
- To prevent secondary outages, reduce initial demand once power has been restored by adjusting thermostats and turning off lights.
Black ice is caused by extremely cold rain droplets that form a film of clear ice on roadways (it’s called “black” because you can see the black asphalt through it). It’s hard to see and extremely slick, so look out for this hazard when the temperature drops near freezing!