Breaking News
More () »

Austin Water, Austin Energy providing free resources for cold weather preparedness

Residents can pick up meter keys, hose bib covers and hand-crank flashlights ahead of the winter months.

AUSTIN, Texas — Austin Water, Austin Energy and the City of Austin Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management are helping residents get prepared for the winter months.

Starting this week, they’re offering free meter keys, hose bib covers, hand-crank flashlights and winter preparedness tip sheets at local community centers. Supplies will be offered again in January.

Austinites can pick up the supplies while they last at the following locations:

North UCSC:

8716 Research Blvd., Suite 115
Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022, and Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023
8 a.m. to 2 p.m. – or while supplies last

East UCSC:

Rosewood-Zaragosa Center
2800 Webberville Road
Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022, and Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023
8 a.m. to 2 p.m. – or while supplies last

South UCSC:

1901 W. William Cannon Drive, Suite 100
Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, and Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023
8 a.m. to 2 p.m. – or while supplies last

According to home care experts, fall is one of the most important seasons for home tune-ups to prevent expensive repairs when the colder months start rolling in.

When temperatures dip below freezing for an extended period, a hose bib cover can help protect your pipes. These keep the hose bib insulated and protected from the wind chill.

According to Austin Water, one of the most important things to know is where your water main shutoff valve is located. For most homes in the Austin area, you can find it on the side of the water meter at the meter box. If you can't find it or if it's damaged, you should be prepared to access the city's shutoff valve in the meter box. To open it, you may need a water meter key.

During a freeze, there are several precautions you'll want to take:

  • Protect your indoor faucets by opening cabinets beneath sinks to allow warmer air in.
  • Drip one cold water faucet slowly if you feel your pipes may freeze. It should be the faucet farthest from the main shutoff valve.
  • If you have had a power outage for more than 24 hours, stop dripping your faucets and turn off your water at the meter.
  • Turn off your outside faucets and remove connected hoses. Wrap outside faucets with towels or a Styrofoam insulator. Also be sure to turn off and drain automatic sprinkler systems.

After the freeze, if you turn on a faucet and there's only a trickle of water coming out, it's possible you have a frozen pipe. Austin Water has tips for what you should do to find the frozen pipe and thaw it.

Before You Leave, Check This Out