Texas Should Prepare For Future Winter Storms

Matt Lillywhite

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Many people are concerned that Texas isn't prepared for winter storms in the future. "There is still more that must be done in order to protect Texans from the harm caused by our energy market," said the founder of Texans for Fair Energy Billing, a consumer advocacy group. "Gov. Abbott has the opportunity to make real progress on this bi-partisan issue which is on the minds of all Texans as we head into the colder months. We must act now before it is too late."

The city of Austin recently admitted it was unprepared to respond to the winter storm that killed several hundred people earlier this year. "While the storm was exceptionally severe, the City's lack of preparedness for Winter Storm Uri led to a less effective and disorganized response." It's also worth noting the city didn't implement recommendations that may have improved its response to the storm, according to a publicly available document published by the city government.

Many Texans are concerned that history will repeat itself, and the state will be unprepared to deal with future winter storms. According to CNN, "Texas, which generates more electricity than any other state, could see numerous power plants become inoperable with the right winter storm, causing electricity demand to exceed what's being generated by up to 37%. That means nearly half of the state's electricity resources wouldn't be able to meet customer demand, leaving millions of Texans in the dark -- again."

Many experts believe Texas should winterize its energy infrastructure as soon as possible to handle cold weather. "We need to better realize how vulnerable our energy systems are — both electricity and the vulnerability of electricity and natural gas systems together," said Daniel Cohan during an interview with CNBC. "This is going to take some regrouping, and there's not going to be a single step. We're going to need a portfolio of steps."

If you want to stay safe during a winter storm, the CDC recommends taking the following precautions:

  • Stay dry as wet clothing chills the body quickly.
  • If you have to do heavy outdoor chores, dress warmly and work slowly to avoid excess sweating.
  • Always carry extra warm clothing and blankets with you. Don't rely on a car to provide enough heat. The car could break down.
  • Wear fabrics that will hold more body heat and don't absorb moisture. Wool, silk, or polypropylene will hold more body heat than cotton.

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