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Winter Safety

TX Department of Emergency Management

We encourage you to follow your local NWS Weather Forecast Offices for the latest information on this winter weather, pay attention to emergency alerts from your local jurisdictions. More information from the TX Department of Emergency Management can be found HERE.

  • Please make sure your household is prepared focusing on the 4 P’s. People, pets, pipes and plants!
  • Plan to minimize travel, and if you need to be on the road, slow down.
  • Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Only use generators and grills outdoors and away from windows. Never heat your home with a gas stovetop or oven.
  • Be prepared for winter weather at home, at work and in your car. Create an emergency supply kit for your car. Include jumper cables, sand, a flashlight, warm clothes, blankets, bottled water and non-perishable snacks. Keep a full tank of gas.

TX Department of Transportation

Winter weather creates unpredictable and dangerous driving conditions. TxDOT strongly advises you to stay off the roads. But if you must drive, please use extreme caution.

Information on road conditions in the state is available at DriveTexas™ or by phone at (800) 452-9292. Travel planning and other tips are available in the TxDOT Safety Guide for Winter Travel.

Driving Tips:

  • Slow down. Speed limits are based on normal road and weather conditions, not winter road conditions.
  • Maintain at least three times the normal following distance on snow or ice.
  • Watch carefully for snow removal equipment and stay at least 200 feet behind snow plows.
  • Use extra caution on bridges, ramps, overpasses and shaded areas as they tend to freeze first.
  • If your vehicle starts to slide, ease off the gas pedal or brakes. Steer into the direction of the skid until you have regained traction. Then straighten your vehicle.

Department of Public Safety:

Public Utility Commission of Texas

If you lose power, please call your utility company to report the outage. You can find outage updates by your utility's outage map. To view current outage maps or call to report, click on the utility company name HERE.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Space Heaters:
This is the time of year when consumers may get out the space heaters for extra warmth. Make sure to keep flammable materials at least three feet away. Always plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet and never into a power strip, to prevent overloading and causing a fire. CPSC estimates that portable heaters are involved in about 1,700 fires per year, resulting in about 80 deaths and 160 injuries annually.

A CPSC staff report found that space heaters can also present a hyperthermia (overheating) hazard to consumers, particularly children, people with disabilities and senior citizens, who may be more susceptible because of their limited ability to act or react to the elevated ambient temperature. Hyperthermia can result in death. DO NOT leave space heaters running unattended in a confined space around infants, or individuals with reduced physical, sensory or mental capabilities.  

Smoke and CO Alarms:
Working smoke and CO alarms save lives! Install smoke alarms on every level of the home and inside each bedroom. CO alarms should be placed on every level of home outside sleeping areas.

Test the alarms every month to make sure they are working. Replace batteries at least once every year, or install smoke and CO alarms with sealed, 10-year batteries. 

Furnaces, Fireplaces and Chimneys:
Start by having fireplace flues and chimneys and other fuel-burning appliances, such as furnaces, inspected by a professional before the heating season.  

Most CO deaths associated with portable generators occur in the colder months of the year, between November and February. The exhaust contains poisonous carbon monoxide, which can kill in minutes. Use portable generators outside only and place them at least 20 feet from the home. Never use a generator inside a home, basement, shed or garage.  From 2010-2020, CPSC estimates that more than 700 people died from CO poisoning associated with generators, over 50 in 2020.

Use flashlights instead of candles:
If you experience a power outage, use battery-powered flashlights or lanterns, rather than candles, to light the home. If using candles, never leave burning candles unattended.

Check for recalled products:
Recalls are year-round too. Before using household products as the colder weather arrives, check to see if the products have been recalled at If a product has been recalled, stop using it immediately and contact the recalling company.