The last day in 2017 will usher in cold weather throughout Texas, making the first few days of 2018 below freezing, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). The strong cold front will bring temperatures into the low 20’s and potential hard freezes throughout a region still struggling from Hurricane Harvey.
On New Year’s Eve, overnight temperatures might fall to below freezing– and every night through Friday morning, the NWS anticipates. Those who will be affected most are individuals who are still using temporary or makeshift housing.
Both federal and state agencies are advocating Texans prepare for winter weather by following a guideline it suggests, called the “4 P’s.” The NWS and Houston Emergency Management social media posts encourage Texans to remember:
- PEOPLE: Keep your family warm and check on any elderly family or neighbors that may need extra blankets, winterizing their homes or a warm place to stay.
- PETS: Dogs and cats get cold too. Bring them inside at night to keep them healthy and safe.
- PLANTS: Either cover plants to keep them warm at night or bring them inside so they can flourish.
- PIPES: Cover exposed pipes to prevent freezing and breaks.
Safety tips for driving include checking online and on news outlets which roads are safe or closed. Warnings for driving include:
- DRIVE SAFELY: Check roads before heading out. If icy conditions are present, drive slower and give yourself extra stopping distance. Take extra caution on bridges and overpasses as they will ice quickly.
- PREPARE YOU CAR: Have a car safety kit and consider having a blanket and extra phone charger in case you are stranded.
Warnings for electrical and heat safety include:
- SPACE HEATER SAFETY: Use electric space heaters with automatic shut-off switches and non-glowing elements. Remember to keep all heating sources away from drapes and furniture.
- POWER OUTAGE: Have a flashlight, extra batteries, portable cell phone charger, warm clothes, blankets and a weather radio in case power goes out. If it gets too cold, go to a public place like the mall or a library to heat up.