When Austin is experiencing severe cold, freezing rain, sleet or snow, precautions at home and in your car can be critical:
FREEZES AT HOME:
- Leave cold and hot water dripping from faucets exposed to outside walls.
- Know how to shut off water service to your home.
- Consider the possibility of severe cold when leaving town during the winter and shut off water, if necessary.
- Turn off your heater at the thermostat if your power is out. This helps the electric utility restore power to your area. Turn the thermostat back on after power is restored.
If driving is absolutely necessary under icing conditions, remember:
- Tap lightly on your brakes to improve control when stopping
- Release some air from your tires to improve traction.
- Allow extra travel time; it might take two to three times longer to reach your destination.
- Drive your car in a lower gear if necessary.
- Keep warm blankets or sleeping bags and a bucket of sand or cat litter (to pour under tires to get traction when stuck) in your car.
Source: The Austin Office of Emergency Managment