• Home

DPS Reminds Texans of Winter Weather Safety Tips

Posted: Updated:

AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) encourages Texans in all regions of the state to make preparations for winter weather as we enter the cold weather season.

“While we’ve all heard the joke about Texas only having two seasons – hot and hotter – all Texans need to prepare now for the serious threats that the upcoming winter could bring,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “Every year, Texas faces the dangers of winter weather conditions, including freezing temperatures, ice, sleet, and even snow. Texans are urged to stay informed about changing weather in their area and to take steps now to help stay safe during the coming months.”

Texans should winterize their vehicles by checking the battery, windshield wipers (including appropriate freeze resistant-fluid), tire pressure, tire tread, fluid levels, and lubricate door and trunk locks to prevent freezing. In addition, here is a list of emergency supplies drivers can keep in their vehicle:

  • Blankets/sleeping bags, extra clothing, gloves and a hat.
  • Cell phone, radio, flashlight and extra batteries.
  • First-aid kit and pocket knife.
  • High calorie, non-perishable food and bottled water.
  • Bag of sand or cat litter to provide traction for tires. 
  • Windshield scraper, tool kit, booster cables, tow rope and a shovel.

DPS offers the following additional tips for staying safe during possible winter weather:

  • Monitor local weather broadcasts and follow up-to-the-minute weather conditions, at http://www.weather.gov/.
  • Purchase an all-hazards weather radio for up-to-date warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information.
  • Sign up for your local emergency notification system.
  • Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained before any trip, and keep your gas tank full.
  • On icy roads, drive slowly and increase distance required for stopping, and avoid using cruise control.
  • Watch for downed trees and power lines across roads. If power is out, treat all intersections as four-way stops.
  • Allow extra time when traveling in inclement weather.
  • Avoid traveling when sleet, freezing rain or snow is predicted, and monitor road conditions by visiting www.drivetexas.org or by calling 1-800-452-9292.
  • Insulate outside faucets and pipes near outer walls.
  • Make sure that furnaces, heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves are clean, well-ventilated and in good working condition.
  • To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, NEVER operate generators and other fuel-powered devices inside a home or an enclosed space, such as a garage. The deadly odorless, colorless gas is produced any time a fossil fuel is burned, with sources including motor vehicle engines, generators and fuel-burning appliances or heating systems. Consider installing a carbon monoxide detector.
  • Make arrangements for proper shelter and an emergency supply of food and water for your pets and livestock.
  • Stock up on firewood and supplies, including canned goods and bottled water.
  • If you will be away from home for a long period of time, set your thermostat to 55 degrees or higher and open cabinets under sinks.
  • Make sure you have inclement weather contact numbers for schools and work.
  • Check on friends and family members whose health or age may put them at greater risk from cold weather.

During the winter season, residents can contact 2-1-1 Texas, the state’s free 24-hour helpline, to check on possible community-established warming centers or related services in their area. No matter where you live in Texas, you can dial 2-1-1 or 877-541-7905 for community resources.

Click here for additional information and tips regarding winter weather preparedness. 

    • Texas News Minute

      The latest Texas news from The Associated Press
    • DeWitt County to offer Teen CERT training in April

      DeWitt County Office of Emergency Management, in conjunction with the Texas Department of Emergency Management and Texas A&M Forest Service, will again offer training for Teens 13 – 18 years of age for the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program beginning in April.  The class is 24 hours training consisting of basic first aid, fire suppression and other elements to assist in an emergency.  Class will be held in Yorktown on Saturdays 9 am – 5 pm, Apr...
    • Austin Police Department, ATF, and FBI Seek Information on Package Bomb Murders

      Authorities are seeking any information regarding person(s) responsible for the deaths and injuries connected to the package bombs in Austin, Tx. Anyone with information is urged to contact the TIPS Hotline 512-472-TIPS (8477) or 1-800-893-8477. Tips can also be submitted online via APD’s free mobile app, available on iPhone and Android. Individuals who provide information may remain anonymous.

    • Safe Room Shelters Victoria Evacuees from Hurricane Harvey

      Austin, Texas – Nearly 400 evacuees in Victoria, Texas, with nowhere else to go sheltered inside a 168-foot wide steel-reinforced tornado/hurricane safe room the day Hurricane Harvey barreled into Texas. 

    • HTNupdate: Man arrested in Whataburger shooting case

      Happy Monday, Crossroads. I'm Newscenter 25's Amber Joseph with your Hometown News Update. Austin's mayor says growing anxieties are "legitimate and real" following the fourth bombing in the city this month.

    • Victoria man arrested for DWI after hitting local church

      A drunken driver scrapes the side of a local church after colliding with another car on Sunday evening. 

    • Austin mayor calls growing fears 'legitimate' following 4th bombing

      AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Latest on the bombings in Austin, Texas (all times local):      9 a.m.      Austin's mayor says growing anxieties are "legitimate and real" following the fourth bombing in the city this month.      Mayor Steve Adler told The Associated Press on Monday that residents shouldn't think twice about calling 911 if they see anything suspicious. A blast occurred Sunday night in a neighborhood far from the sites of...

    • Another explosion injures 2 in Austin; cause unclear

      Two people have been injured in another explosion in Texas' capital, and police are not saying if it was caused by a package bomb like the three that detonated earlier this month elsewhere in the city. 

    • Beware of Phone Scams in Calhoun County

      The Calhoun County Sheriff's Office is warning residents to not fall for a phone scam regarding jury duty.  

    • TPWD Reminds Texans to ‘Clean, Drain and Dry’ as Boating Season Heats Up

      Boaters Critical in Fight to Protect Texas Lakes from Destructive Invasive Species. 

Current Conditions