News Flash

Public Affairs

Posted on: January 11, 2024

Winter Weather Safety

Winter Weather Preparation graphic with snowflake

A Wind Chill Advisory is in effect from 6 p.m. Sunday through 10 a.m. Wednesday and a Hard Freeze Warning has been issued for the same time. Sixty-three percent of temperature-related deaths are attributable to cold exposure. Home heating is the second leading cause of home fires. Make sure you and your family are prepared and #WinterReady!

The Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter will be closed on Monday, Jan. 15, due to the weather. Please keep pets inside and warm. Check on your family, neighbors and friends to make sure they are safe and warm! 

Due to power outages in the Schwertner Ranch subdivision, a warming center has been established at Jarrell Middle School, 101 E Avenue F in Jarrell.

If your retail food location or restaurant loses power, please visit Williamson County and Cities Health District’ restaurant emergency guidance page

Remember the 4 Ps: people, pets, plants and pipes!

  1. People: Check on older relatives and neighbors. Dress in warm layers.
  2. Pets: Bring pets inside.
  3. Plants: Move potted plants indoors and cover outdoor plants.
  4. Pipes: Wrap exposed pipes to prevent freezing. Drip water faucets and open cabinet doors to keep pipes warm. 

The Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter will close early Sunday, Jan. 14, at 5 p.m. The shelter is looking for people to foster dogs during the cold front. To foster a dog, please come by the shelter during normal business hours of noon to 6 p.m. daily. The animal care staff will help select a dog that will do well in your home. You can also preview the dogs available at www.wilcotx.gov/pets.

Due to anticipated freezing temperatures, most restrooms and water fountains at county parks will close starting Saturday. The park office restroom and pit toilets at River Ranch County Park will remain open, as will the disc golf restroom at Southwest Williamson County Regional Park. Park restrooms and water fountains will reopen when the temperatures are above freezing.

Williamson County Road and Bridge crews have spent the last few days preparing material and equipment for the potential winter weather. We currently have 400 tons of sand, four sanding trucks and 2,750 gallons of chemical deicer. Road crews will be monitoring the weather and will be on-call for the cold front. In the case of precipitation, we will have crews driving the county and checking pavement temperatures and monitoring for ice. If icy conditions occur, we have a staffing plan to allow for crews to address critical areas of the county.

If you experience a power outage, please call your utility provider. Do not call 9-1-1 so that their phone lines are open for emergencies. Here is a list of providers and phone numbers for the Williamson County area. 

If residents experience a loss of power, the Sheriff's Office will open a warming center at their office upon request at 508 Rock Street in Georgetown. The Sheriff's Office lobby is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you do have a loss of power, please contact your utility provider and do not call 9-1-1 to report it. Please leave the 9-1-1 lines open for emergencies. The Texas Division of Emergency Management has a list of warming centers available at https://tdem.texas.gov/warm

View energy saving tips here: TXANS (ercot.com).

Tips for Keeping Warm

  1. Never put a generator inside your home.
  2. Never use a gas stovetop or oven to heat your home.
  3. Be sure to plug only one heat-producing applicant in an outlet at a time.
  4. Keep anything that can burn at least three feet from any heat source (like a fireplace or space heater).
  5. Keep blinds or curtains closed and close off unused rooms to avoid wasting heat.
  6. Dress in layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing.

Tips for Travel

  1. In Texas, you can check road conditions at drivetexas.org before you hit the road.
  2. Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle. Stock your kit with jumper cables, ice scraper, car cell phone charger, blankets, warm clothes, food and water.
  3. Prepare your vehicle by checking antifreeze levels, battery, brakers, heater and defroster.
  4. Keep your gas from falling below half a tank.

Make a Plan

  1. Create an emergency plan to include considerations for older adults, people with disabilities, children and pets.
  2. Have a communication plan on how to reach family and friends. Choose an out-of-area emergency contact person.
  3. Have supplies for a minimum of three days to include non-perishable foods, water, batteries, blankets, medications, etc.
  4. Create a list of contact numbers for your specific utilities in case of outages.
  5. Know how to turn off your water in case of a burst pipe.
  6. Monitor weather conditions through local weather stations, the National Weather Service Austin-San Antonio social media or a NOAA weather radio.

Additional Resources:

Sign up for local alerts at WarnCentralTexas.org

Oncor Outages

TDEM January 2024 Winter Weather

Ready.gov #WinterReady

American Red Cross Supplies

Atmos Energy Tips to Prepare for Bitterly Cold Weather

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