Winter Storms & Extreme Cold

While the danger from winter weather varies across the country, nearly all Americans, regardless of where they live, are likely to face some type of severe winter weather at some point in their lives.  Winter storms in Central Texas can include dangerously low temperatures, strong winds, icing, sleet, snow, and freezing rain.

One of the primary concerns during inclement weather are power outages that affect heating systems, communications services; impacts to infrastructure are always a concern. In San Antonio, these conditions can bring the city to a screeching halt! Be Ready!


Before Winter Approaches:

  • Add these supplies to your emergency kit:  Rock salt; sand to improve traction; heating fuel; and adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.
  • Make a Family Communications Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.
  • Be alert to changing weather conditions; Minimize travel.
  • Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.


During Winter Storms and Extreme Cold:

  • Stay indoors during the storm; walk carefully on snowy, icy, walkways.
  • Watch for signs of frostbite. These include loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes, and the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately.
  • Watch for signs of hypothermia. These include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion.  If symptoms of hypothermia are detected, get the victim to a warm location, remove wet clothing, warm the center of the body first and give warm, non-alcoholic beverages if the victim is conscious. Get medical help as soon as possible.
  • If the pipes freeze, remove any insulation or layers of newspapers and wrap pipes in rags. Completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they were most exposed to the cold (or where the cold was most likely to penetrate).
  • Maintain ventilation when using kerosene heaters to avoid build-up of toxic fumes. Refuel kerosene heaters outside and keep them at least three feet from flammable objects.


After Winter Storms and Extreme Cold

  • Continue to protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers. Stay indoors, if possible.


With these tips, you can be safe and prepared when old Jack Frost heads to San Antonio. For more on emergency preparedness, visit the


Be Prepared–Make a Plan–Stay Informed!  Be Rowdy Ready, UTSA