Many Texans are used to gearing up for hurricane season. The same mindset should apply during the winter months, Dozier said.
“The thing about winter storms (is) they’re a lot like a hurricane,” he said. “We have a little bit of an extended period (where meteorologists) are forecasting that we’re going to have freezing temperatures and snow accumulations, so it gives a little time to prepare.”
Nick Hampshire, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, suggests having a “winter survival kit” on hand complete with a one- to two-week supply of nonperishable food and water for your family and pets. A good rule of thumb is to have a gallon of water per person, per day.
“As we went through Winter Storm Uri in February, that would have meant we needed about six to eight days worth of water in some parts of the state,” Dozier said.
Dozier recommends stocking up on bottled water for human consumption. If people are unable to access bottled water, Texans should consider purchasing large containers to hold multiple gallons of drinking water, said Selena Xie, president of the Austin-Travis County EMS Association, in an interview with The Texas Tribune.
Winter kits should also include blankets, extra warm clothes, a first-aid kit, portable lights and extra batteries. Dozier said a battery-powered radio to listen to weather forecasts and news is another good purchase. And you might want to keep some emergency supplies stored in your car like sleeping bags, drinking water, a shovel for digging out of snow, booster cables and something to create traction on your tires such as sand or kitty litter.
Texans who take prescription medications should make sure they have an adequate supply to last them throughout a severe weather event, Xie said.
“If you happen to be on dialysis or have some other medical implantation, just talk to your doctor about a plan in case power goes out (or) in case you can’t travel easily,” she said.