Things Keep Getting EVEN WORSE in Texas: Frigid Temps, Blackouts, and an “Overwhelmed” Water System

(Psst: The FTC wants me to remind you that this website contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase from a link you click on, I might receive a small commission. This does not increase the price you'll pay for that item nor does it decrease the awesomeness of the item. ~ Daisy)

It’s not the end of the world. Not yet.

But, take a look at what is happening in Texas. Some would say that is a preview of what’s to come for the United States if we don’t do something major to reverse it. Austerity and scarcity, much of it created by poor maintenance of the infrastructure and more under the guise of saving us from “climate change”, is coming to America.

Fresh on the heels of intentional, planned blackouts in Nebraska and Texas, due to frigid temperatures and a power grid that couldn’t handle demand, Texas is now facing yet another crisis – “overwhelmed” water systems.

It’s important to keep in mind that the current weather conditions are very unusual for Texas. Many homes there aren’t built to withstand temperatures that freeze water pipes or with secondary heating systems that aren’t connected to the grid. The municipal infrastructures were also unprepared for weather of this magnitude.

Texas water systems are damaged and leaking, leaving residents under a boil advisory

Much of the damage done to the Texas water systems have come from leaks caused by frozen pipes. And those leaks are pushing the entire water system to the brink. Approximately 13 million Texans, according to the Executive Director for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Toby Baker, are under a boil water advisory. More than 700 water systems are affected.

According to Austin Water Director Greg Meszaros, in Austin, the water supply lost 325 million gallons of water due to burst pipes.

“We know that there are tens of thousands of leaks,” Meszaros said. “As the fire department indicated, they have responded to thousands upon thousands of burst pipes.”

“That is an incredible amount of water. Nothing I’ve ever seen before,” said Meszaros regarding the 325 million gallons of lost water.

Although Texas expects warmer temperatures in the next week, the state faces more incredibly low temperatures on Friday and Saturday nights. Twenty-five million people are already under a hard freeze warning through Friday morning for parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

For more information on water preparedness, check out this article as well as this one about cleaning without running water.

Texas residents who were unprepared are boiling snow for water or burning household items for heat

Take a look at the dire conditions of some Texas residents as reported by CNN:

In Carrollton, north of Dallas, John Mays, Jon Milton Blackburn, and their three children had no heat or water in their home starting early Monday. To fuel the fireplace, the family resorted to ripping up baseboards to stay warm.

It was either that, or we were going to go after the dining room table next,” Mays told CNN’s Don Lemon on Thursday.

After a water pipe burst, the family sought shelter at their church and expressed gratitude for local leadership providing warming stations.

And all this is from a family who knows there is actually an end in sight to the cold. In fact, an end to the cold in the next few days. If people are resorting to drastic measures like this with an end in sight, how do you think they will react when they can’t see an end to the cold? Or the drought?

If you are in an area enduring this weather check out this article about preparing for a blizzard. It contains lots of links to help address a wide variety of issues you may be facing. If you need to buy supplies but the items you want are sold out, here are some substitutes that you may be able to locate.

Water supply for local Texas emergency services is critically low

In Texas, some hospitals have been operating without water, including Houston Methodist Baytown Hospitals.

“They have been creative, from trucking water in for consumption to collecting rainwater to use for flushing toilets,” Smith said. Both facilities, Smith said, were “still effectively caring for our patients.”

The state asks Waco residents to conserve water, and commercial users such as manufacturers are being asked to do the same. Car washes and laundromats are being encouraged to stay closed, in yet another blow to the private economy.

“Our water supply is critically low. We are currently pumping all we can, but the main problems we are facing right now are leaks and high usage,” Meek said In a video message Thursday. “We are pumping twice our normal daily usage.”

If things get worse, Meek warned that some areas might not have water at all.

“And if system conditions worsen even more than that, the fire department could not have water for firefighting,” he said. “Our city staff has developed and continues to develop alternative methods for fire protection.”

One fire department near San Antonio was already the point of no return. Bexar-Bulverde Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jerry Bialick said that the water supply was the main issue as his team fought a large apartment fire in San Antonio. Many of the hydrants themselves were frozen, and there was no water.

Broken pipes and freezing have damaged countless numbers of homes and businesses

Governor Greg Abbot announced Thursday that the state sought a major disaster declaration from the federal government, and he spoke to President Joe Biden as well.

Abbott says he intends to ask the legislature “to mandate the winterization of Texas’ power system. And for the legislature to ensure the necessary funding for winterization.” He also spoke about ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas), which manages the state’s power grid, and took responsibility for its failure.

But taking responsibility in a speech and fixing the issue at hand are two different things. (Assuming that Abbott and the legislature want to fix the problem, to begin with.) Lower living standards, austerity, lack of infrastructure, and the “green energy” fiasco have all contributed to Texas’s crisis. 

The details can be argued all day.

But Abbott’s statements hold little substance for a freezing family burning their floors and furniture to stay warm.

The one thing we can all be sure of is, whatever the crisis might be, depending on the government to come and save you will always end in disaster.

What are your tips for Texans?

The weather they are facing is extremely unusual for this part of the country, so it’s certainly understandable that many people found themselves unprepared for such an event. Homes there aren’t built to withstand days with frigid temperatures and no grid-connected heat. Do those of you from colder climates have any tips that might help our Texan friends get through this difficult time with no power, no water, and bitterly cold temperatures? Please share your advice and good wishes in the comments.

About Robert

Robert Wheeler has been quietly researching world events for two decades. After witnessing the global network of NGOs and several ‘Revolutions’ they engineered in a number of different countries, Wheeler began analyzing current events through these lenses.

Picture of Robert Wheeler

Robert Wheeler

Robert Wheeler has been quietly researching world events for two decades. After witnessing the global network of NGOs and several 'Revolutions' they engineered in a number of different countries, Wheeler began analyzing current events through these lenses.

Leave a Reply

  • Every time a major storm hits here in The Sunshine State we see the same thing, people who are unprepared.

    I don’t believe that we will ever see a nationwide event like this, but I believe an ” Economic Storm” is on it’s way given the amount of spending Joke BiteMe and his evil posse are planning.

  • To a certain degree the people can be forgiven for getting caught with their pants down as this is highly unusual weather. However, certain things should have just been common sense. One key example would be to not run plumbing in the attic. Why do it? The builder may have saved $100 or so and they got away with it not being an issue until it was. I’ve read several reports of burst water lines in the attic causing ceilings to collapse. This was even in homes that had NG and a fireplace. That’s a lot of damage. It’s like when the hurricane hit Tx a few years ago, some counties with lax building codes that encouraged overdevelopment without plans to mitigate water from impervious surfaces suffered more damage than those with stricter codes. It isn’t about govt. regulation as it is about doing things the right way versus being cheap.

    I also wonder why people didn’t drain the water lines and shut off the main valve. Open up a faucet and find a hose bib outside and open it. Open the hot water tank and let some water out so that the hot lines drain back in. Even if it isn’t perfect, it could minimize the damage.

    Drinking water is also a common problem, as is food preparation. This should be elementary but I guess not. We had a snow storm several years back and the line to get through the McDonald’s drive through was a mile long. Fill buckets for flushing. Put potable water in pans or bottles, etc. Have a grill or camp stove. That hot cup of coffee can go a long way for morale.

    Staying in one room with the door closed can create enough heat to be safe. Put up a tent, even on a bed and it will help create warmth.

    If you have gas heat, get a generator hookup that will run the controls and the blower. Otherwise be careful of fuel based heaters. They can work but put off CO so you need fresh air.

    There’s a few thoughts off the top of my head.

    • Matt – just to answer a couple of your questions here. Most of us did leave facets dripping but when we lost power and were “cold soaked” with no residual heat from our homes reaching the pipes the water literally froze in the pipes and burst them anyway.
      Also you had people like the mayor of Houston telling people not to waste water by dripping their pipes and a lot of them listened.

      I was personally running around like a crazy woman filling up buckets and bathtubs when we had a small steam of water still coming out of our facets knowing that our community well was going to run dry soon. But even with all the buckets and the bathtub that doesn’t last for days on end. We ran totally out of water yesterday and our water providers say they have no idea when they can get the problem fixed. We are gathering water from the lake across the street to flush toilets. We have plenty of food but it’s certainly eye-opening to me how much harder it is to cook without running water. Washing dishes, adding water to food, etc. you just don’t realize how much of it you need.

      Since we normally deal with the power out during the summer when we put an addition on our house we put a lot of windows in it so that we could open it up and have breeze throughout the house. This of course was not helpful during this particular catastrophe because all of those windows are in the same room that the wood-burning stove is in… so we were very very cold when the temperature got down to 12° and our wood-burning stove couldn’t keep up. We all slept in that room and I’m grateful for the heat that we did have because the bedrooms got below freezing in temperature and at least the living room stayed above freezing.
      We are going to make insulated cut outs for those windows so that if this happens again we can stick a premade cut out in them that will hopefully keep the heat in the room.

      I was wishing during this that we had gas and it has caused my husband and I to reevaluate getting a propane stove. All a learning experience which honestly in hindsight (is it really in hindsight if you’re still in the middle of it …..:)
      I’m thankful for. Showed us a lot of areas we need to improve on!

      • Running water won’t freeze at 32 degrees. It will freeze at 18 degrees.

        Don’t leave the water running (the drains can freeze as well).

        Drain the system. Get the water out of the lines – see my answer to Monica below.

        It was what the banks do to a foreclosed and vacant property up north to make sure they don’t have to replace plumbing.

    • Great suggestions, but what is a hose bib? These are serious questions I’m asking, I’m not being facetious. How do you drain the hot water so the water can drain back in – sorry but I am not understanding at all.
      I’m in a condominium complex and many here are in apartments. I went looking for indoor portable non electric heaters before the storm, but couldn’t find any. We are without water now for the forth day, although the office is open extra hours, so I’m filling buckets for flushing. I bought extra cases of water, and am going to invest in propane stove and heating for the future. As far as food, I had started buying extra canned foods, especially fruit, as it tastes good cold. I’m also stocking up on herbal tinctures, especially nettles and dandelion for nutrition and licorice and marshmallow for anti viral and anti bacterial

      • Draining a house of water:

        1. turn off the main shutoff. Best to do it at the curb if you can – you need a special key – but some utilities don’t like you to. 2nd best it to turn it off just where the main supply comes into the house.

        2. turn off the hot water heater. Electric – hit the breaker. Gas – there should be an off setting.

        3. open a hot water tap and a cold water tap on the highest floor of the home. Leave them open.

        4. open the drain on the hot water tank. (you might need to run a hose to a floor drain. they are set up for that.) Maybe let the tank cool off a bit. (it is the hottest water in your house)

        5. open a hot water and cold water tap in the lowest part of the home. If you have a basement that is probably a laundry tub. If not, the lowest cold water tap is likely an outside hose

        Let the house completely drain. You might want to also drain the toilet tanks, so that they don’t freeze and crack.

        • When it comes time to reconnect the water, close the drain on the hot water heater. Close the hot and cold taps at the lowest point of the house. Leave the taps on the top floor open.

          Open the shutoff valve you closed in the first step above.

          Cold water should come out of the tap shortly. (Though all the toilet tanks will need to refill.) It will take a while for the hot water tank to fill. When the water comes out of the top hot water tap, you can close it. (You have to get all of the air out of the system.)

          Then go around and run each tap for a minute. There will probably be some air and might be some crud. Let the crud rinse out.

          Once you have all the air out of the system and are sure that the hot water tank is full, you can turn the hot water heater back on.

      • “what is a hose bib?”

        outside water faucet for a garden hose used for lawn watering or hosing down sidewalks. you might see them elsewhere such as in a garage or in a shed.

    • When you suggest we don’t run plumbing in the attic, you fail to keep several things in mind: first is it very rarely does this in Texas–especially the the extended, extreme cold. By rare, I mean once every 50 years or so. Secondly, many of the homes with frozen water lines also had a 2nd story. I’m not aware of any way to run water to an upstairs bathroom without having water lines in the 2nd story. For homes with waterlines run in the attic, it was done as an alternative to running them under the slab. Very few (less than 5%) of homes in Texas have a basement. This is due to the shifting clay soil, a phenomenon not understood in many parts of the country. When water pipes are under the house and the foundation shifts (or work is done on a shifted foundation), the pipes frequently develop leaks which can go undetected for a long time until high water bills bring it to the homeowner’s attention. The only way to repair these pipes is to rip up the foundation. Seems easier to go through the attic in a climate that never freezes, doesn’t it? Finally, as for draining the pipes, again, it never freezes this cold or for this long. Rolling blackouts are enough to keep pipes freezing. People didn’t anticipate going days without power. Should we have? Probably. But then hindsight is always 20/20 or better.

      • The choices are more than A) run plumbing in the attic and B) run plumbing under the slab.

        When people tell you don’t run plumbing in the attic, they mean – keep plumbing inside the heated envelope.

        It takes a little bit more to run plumbing through the interior walls and floors, but it keeps pipes from freezing. (You need to drill some holes and run the plumbing before the drywall/flooring goes in.

  • We’re in a grand solar minimum and these types of weather anomalies will continue for awhile; one scientist says until 2053. Prep food and water now for the next excursion in temperatures. Get a wood stove and stock up on fire wood. Growing seasons will shorten and foot shortages loom, especially with mandates from the current administration.

    • Indeed Fina… But it seems that the vast majority believes in the current propaganda of “GLOBAL WARMING” that morphed into “CLIMATE CHANGE”, so most don’t even understand what you wrote…

      Happy little ice age!

      • I agree – we are two years into a Grand Solar Minimum (GSM), and just on the heels of a normal 11 year sunspot cycle Solar Minimum. So we have about 33 years of the GSM to run, which is to say this is the first of a number of events that will in some manner affect the entire planet.

        I am from (and still maintain) property in Ft Worth, so I can speak to these issues as well as sympathize with my fellow Texans. I also learned the hard way on a previous solar minimum early in my adult life, about 44 years ago. I was able to fix my worst cold weather problem (busted pipes) with a $21 item called Electric Heat Tape. And it really did solve ALL of my disaster and cold weather problems! Why? Because I never stopped buying important “prepping” items every month and making small tweaks to my property.

        My point is there isn’t and shouldn’t be a one-button solution. Rather, it is a multi-year and then multi-generation process that never stops. 44 Years after I purchased the Electric Heat Tape, my system has grown to a fully prepped multi-home property, and I’ve just sent my grandson out to purchase 12 feet of Electric Heat Tape.

        A big part of what I learned about prepping was how foolish it is to depend on the government and government agencies. America was birthed with rugged, independent values where it is and always will be neighbor helping neighbor.

        I noticed this today in a forum, where most everyone was wasting their time trying to place the blame on somebody else: “The last ten La Ninas occurred at each Solar minimum. This is about every 11 years. The snow events in Texas follow the exact same schedule. There is NO excuse by any state, anywhere, to say its an act of god. It’s a sunspot event. Its 99.999% predictable. The rest is climate change politics.” Well said!

        Texas (and soon everyone in the USA): Go out and buy a roll of heat tape, and while you are at it pick up one for your neighbor!

        My prayers to all concerned. Please remember, this is the first big event in a series of weather and other events, both man-made and natural, that will get worse through at least the rest of the decade. Your best solution – ALWAYS – is neighbor helping neighbor.

        • “A big part of what I learned about prepping was how foolish it is to depend on the government and government agencies. America was birthed with rugged, independent values where it is and always will be neighbor helping neighbor.”

          The above is worth stating over and over! Big lesson here. 100% agree as would most who prep for such events. The gubmint is NOT anyone’s friend.

          Heat tape is useless without electric to power them!

              • There’s a newer form of pipe, that won’t burst even at the joints which are even stronger. It’s been popular in Europe for a long time and is finally gaining ground here in the US. It goes by a few different names, but one brand is called Aquatherm. It’s a hard pipe that you cut, heat the end and insert it into a joint coupler. If you cut the cross section of the joint you won’t be able to tell which piece is which because it welds together uniformly. The pipe is strong enough that the pressure of frozen water can’t break it.

          • Dawn, I was thinking the same about heat tape/no power, but I have a strong suspicion that this man has generators.

            We are about 2 hours east of Dallas/FW. We experienced 0° our coldest morning. 6 days no power/water.

            However, we have a generator, we have a small pond, propane heat and lots of food, including our fresh eggs (16 hens and a rooster)

            Boiling snow and running it through our Berkey Gravity filter, worked great.

            We bought this land, 10 acres, 7 months ago for the very reason others mentioned, “not trusting the government”.
            The fake pandemic and all the fascist mandates kicked us in the butt and we got busy!

            Purchased a spacious preowned RV, developed 7 veggie gardens, obtained a 250 gallon propane tank and keep it full (planning to buy a 1000 gallon tank ASAP)
            Our generator is dual fuel propane/gasoline.
            We also bought enough storable food to last for at least a year.

            On our short list of to-do’s is building a barn, a root cellar, and a cistern. We will catch water off our very large barn roof. This will happen before next winter, Lord willing.

            Scott and I are 66 and 60, respectively, not spring chickens, fortunately, we have our wonderful 22 yo son who also purchased an RV as he too recognized the precariousness of our current situation(s). He is strong, enthusiastic, CONSERVATIVE, (unlike our other kids) and just incredibly helpful.

            We managed just fine throughout this 7 days…had my first shower in 6 days last night and it was HEAVEN!
            We are blessed, grateful. God is so good!!

            • Solar power with battery backup. Then propane generator(s) to recharge the batteries if your energy demand is too high and/or your available sunlight is too low to keep the batteries charged. So you’ll have:

              1) Grid Power
              2) Solar Power
              3) Battery Backup to the Solar
              4) Propane Backup to the Battery

              And if you need more, there are ways to convert fireplace heat to electricity.

              The most important point I wanted to make, and I think it gets by most people: TIME is your best and most powerful tool and system to prepare. Managing TIME properly is how you generate wealth with your investments, how you grow food properly, and how you develop a rugged, independent property so that when you go to retire you have a fully functioning Homestead that can play well with the Grid (Power, Water, Sewer, etc) or ignore it as circumstances require.

              At -4 degrees for the low, and about 10-20 degrees for the high, and a net of 21 inches of snow over 5 days, I didn’t have to do anything out of the ordinary. We lost power and communications several times, but I didn’t notice it until I looked back at it a few days later, and saw how many times and for how long my system had shifted into backup modes.

              That’s the value of using TIME to develop my system over the years, and what I hope to teach others how to do. Most people want me to solve their problem(s) instead of teaching them how easy it is to configure your property to be robust, redundant, and anti-fragile. What’s the old saying about fish?

        • “Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, and weak men create hard times.”

          My suggestion is complacency kills, a lot of the problems stem from lazy, careless, expectant people.
          Now quite a lot of these people want to be paid for the problems their ineptitude caused, not all but enough.

          We never had to do it before is the single excuse, even if it was a possibility.

          It’s easy enough to look into possibilities (regional) and have a clue and a plan.

  • Do those of you from colder climates have any tips that might help them get through this difficult time with no power, no water, and bitterly cold temperatures?

    Just three years ago (2018) this third world governor [Greg Abbott] was bragging his state’s economy was larger than Russia’s
    But in Russia they don’t go to the pre-electric age because it got cold

    My suggestion: pack your bags and move to Russia. LEARN and then return and build a better system!

    • Greg Abbott is a RINO/Commie Moron who Stabbed Trump in the back & interestingly Texas had Secession papers All Drawn Up just 10 days ago & Ready to Go – Texas ain’t going anywhere as they Beg for Energy from MEXICO. The people of Texas should Rise Up Against their Governor & their “Energy” Cartel in Texas & in True Texan Fashion Put a Gun to Their Heads & Demand Results or a Rope & a Tree will be their Fate. Pray for the Good People of Texas.

  • It never occurred to me that the water supply would be in danger in the case of a multi-day power outage.
    One more thing to stock up on. I did a pretty good job with shelf stable food but did not stock up on water.
    I live in the NorthEast so this is a valuable lesson for me.
    Horrified looking at local TV stations in Texas showing water coming through people’s ceilings.

    • What do you think pumps the water? Pixie dust?

      NYC gets a good portion of its water via gravity from the norther part of NY State, but the rest of us are dependent on electric pumps. Even if they are owned by the local utility.

      In a long-term outage, since people have no clue of how to find clean water, no filters or other ability to deal with it, and no idea what to do about sanitation if the toilets won’t flush (What do you think powers the waste treatment plants?), cholera and dysentery will show up soon enough, followed by a host of other 3rd-world diseases.

      • “What do you think pumps the water?”

        well most water systems have their own power generation capabilities. if they can get diesel they can keep up the water system.

        • My hometown has a small building next to the water tower that controls the power dist to the pumps, I believe a small treatment system is housed there as well.
          There is a huge socket kind of thing for hooking up a generator, I have never seen that generator or even knows if it exists but the ability is there.

          Being in town my mother still up kept the private water well on the property at a large expense against what the township wanted.

  • This is a very bad situation for sure. However I believe that common sense should have kicked in but it doesn’t look like a lot of it did…
    ALWAYS HAVE ENOUGH FOOD STORED AND WATER AS WELL. People could have had camping stoves that use 1 lb. propane canisters and they could still cook food. IF they would drip their faucet that might have helped that is until they ALL ran out of water completely! A propane or kerosene heater would have provided alternate head if they had bought the canisters to uses and the extra kerosene for the heaters…Having a portable potty w/bags would have been good for times when the toilet would not flush due to NO water…JUST b/c something has not happened in years doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t happen as they have ALL found out…My grandmother raised me well and she told me “IT’S ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY”, AND “PREPARDNESS IS THE KEY” !!! L ow and behold she was right about both!

    • The problem with portable propane or kerosene heaters is Carbon monoxide, Carbon dioxide, Nitrogen dioxide, and Sulphur dioxide, emissions.
      If you read the cautions statement, you must use them in a well ventilated area.

      They are especially dangerous at night, since sleeping in a bed puts you closer to the floor where these gasses tend to settle.
      They are also dangerous for pets like dogs and cats, who also are closer to the floor most of the time.

      So beware using these types of heaters indoors. Follow all the instructions about keeping proper ventilation.
      Cracking a window or relying on Carbon monoxide detectors may not be enough to keep you sake.
      Make sure you know the signs of carbon monoxide and other toxic gas poisoning.

    • Did you see that Canada has a team now to check out peoples homes that are hoarding? Being prepared means their foods and supplies will be confiscated even though they paid for those items. Biden wants the same thing here. Remember there is already a law on the books about confiscating stuff to back fill the government.

      • Where did you hear this? I live in Canada and as far as I know it’s nonsense. I regularly see case lot deals advertised at big-box grocery stores and I’ve never been questioned about buying multiples of anything. The Canadian government doesn’t enter anyone’s home without a search warrant. In order to get a search warrant the police have to prove to a judge that there is reasonable grounds to suspect a crime is being committed.

      • Uhh, not true I’m in Canada and it’s not happening in any province. Maybe last year at the beginning of the pandemic, there were attempts but they didn’t last because, to be blunt, this requires a lot of manpower and effort–the team here would have to be paid quite nicely and Canada is simply too large and too wide-spread for them to go successfully door-to-door. And to be blunt, government people are pretty lazy so yeah, about that… And my advice to Texans is to insulate your pipes. My house’s pipes are insulated with carpet scraps and electric tape, done by the previous owner who was a plumber. Pretty awful-looking but we hit -30 to -50 weather here for long stretches so far this year, and my pipes have held up. And the first hint of a storm, either in summer or winter I fill my bathtub and we have several 5-gallon jugs of water on hand at all times. We also have a firepit and wood in the back in case, and we’re in the city on the outskirts. Also if it’s in your area, throw down hay over the pipelines, that’s done out in the country where there are wells and septic tanks. I got that trick from an old farmer. Seek out your older neighbors they are a wealth of info in hard times.

      • Poor Mette falls for every far-out “article”. Remember your comments about guillotines some time back. That was nonsense and so is this. No one is going around confiscating food.

        My advice again, is to wean yourself from those websites. They’ll make you crazy. Just some friendly advice from another Canadian with a deep larder.

        • The claim is it will not happen in the states either but the laws exist, were revamped under bomma.

          And, no they won’t go door to door, that’s a recourse/time waste.
          Why when in the USA and Canada they have these wonderful snitch hotlines.
          They can easily state hoarding is illegal and people will snitch galore especially if they get rewards,.

          “No one is going around confiscating food ”
          That excuse is rather pathetic considering the topic here?
          This weather wasn’t supposed to happen, many claimed it can’t happen here.

  • I think all of the suggestions here are great. And why didnt people drain their pipes? Because they took for granted, like most of us, that someone would be there to fix the problem right away. This should teach all of us, we rely way to much on the power grid, water company and the government. I bet there are a few families that are having a good time with no power, playing games together, reading, eating well and staying warm. They thought ahead and prepared to take care of themselves.
    Not saying something can pop up and we wont be prepared. But if we would learn to take care of ourselves and live by the olden ways, we might be better prepared

  • Having spent the majority of my life in Colorado, and for a period of several years lived in a mountain community, Texans have my condolences and prayers that this crisis ends soon.
    Winterization is a way of life for those who live in the mountain States. Freezing temperature drops are unpredictable and come when you least expect it.
    What’s going on in Texas, and other areas, illustrates the problems of being totally reliant upon the grid. Our grid is aging, repairs are patchy and inconsistent, and it’s at high risk from both natural and man made attack.
    My better and much wiser half and I, have the tools and materials in place to survive a loss of electric, gas and water service. How long the loss of such service would last is anyone’s guess, but I firmly believe one should have enough alternatives to last at least one month (longer would be better).
    One thing I always remember is that our government is usually slow to respond. I always point out that it took “Three Days For the Government To Get Water To The Refugees After Katrina.” How many were in the throes of complete Dehydration by that point, is something we’ll never know the truth of, but it’s a safe bet that a number of those folks didn’t survive that ordeal unscathed Health wise.
    That it took that long for relief to arrive, just shows that we can’t rely on our government to solve the problems a disaster causes in a timely fashion.
    We preppers and survivalists always reference the “Rule of 3’s.” 3 Minutes Without Air, 3 Hours Without Shelter, 3 Days Without Water, and so on. We could also add “3 Days For The Government To Respond” to that list.
    Our survival of a catastrophic event, and our family’s, depends solely upon us alone. It’s not the Municipality’s, the State’s or the Federal Government’s, it ours and ours alone.
    I also firmly believe in the concept of strength through numbers, and while OpSec of your preps and plans should be zealously guarded, there’s nothing wrong in joining into groups of like minded individuals. Some information should be shared among the committed. Forums like Daisy’s created are a good starting point, and it’s why I continue to participate in and with.
    My thanks to Daisy, her contributors, and my fellow readers for the Inciteful articles/essays/observations and the sharing of Preps.

    Forewarned is Forearmed.

    • I used to live in the Bay Area in California. There the government commanded (strongly suggested) that everyone have three days of supplies in case of an emergency. This was in response to a little shaking we had in 1989. Later that was upped to a week. How many people do you think actually did that?

      The government basically admitted that if there were a real earthquake, that the government wouldn’t be able to respond right away, so people must be prepared to make it on their own for at least a week. The same thing could be said for the rest of the country. I personally would up that to a month minimum.

  • The only tip I can think of is to adapt going ahead. Because it may become more and more frequent. The climate is changing and the cold isn’t being contained to northern latitudes by warmer tropical slipstreams anymore. it will have varying effects in various places.

    This is one visible effect of global warming. Please note I’m not saying it’s caused by emissions fossil fuel burning or anything like that. It has happened before and may well have natural causes. (2.000 yrs ago for instance, and it was one of the causes for the falling of the Roman empire in fact).

  • I have a few ideas for free fire wood. Check out big box stores near their dumpsters. There are many free wooden pallets that are thrown away. Also, stop by the city garbage dump drop offs and you’ll find wood and old furniture that has been discarded. Contact construction companies and ask them to contact you when their construction is complete and there might be scrap wood there. Contact public parks and inquire when they will be clearing out old brush. Lastly, contact demolition companies to find out what scraps may be available before they are thrown away. My heart goes out to all of those who are suffering. You are in my heart and prayers. Please stay strong.

    • I cleared out the mess created by a construction company in the aftermath of setting up a prefab home.
      I had a very nice pile of 2×6 and 8 very nice 2×12″ all about 10′ long and a lot of smaller things, several 2×4’s “free” the construction guys told me they usually claim them for building tree stands.

  • Early 1970s we lived in North Texas for a while. One winter storm temps at night were 6°. We camped with our 3 boys, ages 2, 9, and 10, in a bathroom. Wall to wall sleeping bags and blankets. I heated ready to eat soups on an improvised stand over candles. I heated in the opened cans. Just warm, not hot. We had several containers of water we saved before turning off the water to save the pipes.
    We called it camping in. The Kids played board games, then army men and cars had a war on the hills of blanket world. The youngest boy played for hours with his cars and a truck. We read a lot. The light was candles in front of the mirror on the counter. Lunch was pork and beans cold from the can. We ate from the cans so all the dishes to worry about was spoons to wash. We ate sandwiches while the bread and lunchmeat lasted. We all wore sweatshirts and 2 pairs of socks to keep warm. Body heat and candles made it survivable in the little space. The bath tub held cans of ready to warm food, toys, and a box of candle stubs. Several jars of canned fruit made up our desert menu.
    I was so glad for a stock of easy to heat and eat foods. I Bought them cheap when they weren’t well received by patrons of the local grocery store. They were used to a certain brand of condensed soups.
    Today we are living without electricity. Almost 15 months ago thd solar array was damaged in a storm. I’m buying bits at a time to rebuild bigger and better. I keep 26 gallons of water in large containers and a case or two of bottled water on hand. We heat and cook on a rocket stove with an optional pellet hopper that is gravity fed. A heat activated fan sits by the burn area to circulate heat. In summer I cook outside on a homemade barrel bbq.
    I hate elm trees but a dozen are cut back to ugly stumps each fall. In spring they grow 12 to 15 ft tall and provide shade. The branches are stacked to age and dry then cut or broken into lengths to fit the bbq and the rocket stove. Any left after summer get burned for heat then I switch to purchased pellets or chips from the wood chipper. Leaves are used as ground cover during winter in the chicken coop.
    The rebuilt array is going to be for my convenience as I get older. I’m 74 and hubs is 82, alzheimers, and in failing health.
    We have oil lamps and mirrors and a recharbable lantern. Radio uses a pair of AA batteries and the big flashlight has an insert that holds 6 AA batteries. I have a solar charger for the batteries and a solar charger for the phone and usb lantern. The well is on grid power but I have a manual winch for the well in my backyard.
    A camp oven sets nicely on the heater and I can now bake bread and deserts for my husband. Cornbread is made in a hot cast iron skillet with a disposable pie pan inverted over it. I cook full meals there or on busy days i make cornbread and heat canned chili with beans. Serve with cheese and diced onions.
    I have finally purchased some long commercial extensions cords so we now have refrigerator and a TV going. It makes caring for my husband easier and I can use the washing machine now. I was using a plunger and 3, 5 gallon buckets.

  • “much of it created by poor maintenance of the infrastructure and more under the guise of saving us from “climate change” This premise is simply wrong. There is poor maintenance of the infrastructure but the current situation was created by UNDER regulation of the Texas energy providers.

  • I live here in Texas up in the Hill Country and we are a city w/out water and people are having pipes busting all over , just big mess, but I am from Indiana, and so knew a few tricks and agree that that the electric heat tape works, my sister in Dallas bought some years ago to put on her pipes and keeps a roll handy. Also, because of this site and all of the information I have gotten from here, and through the grace of God giving me a bit of brains to use, knowing that I cannot depend on the government we have been filling up buckets of water, and have rain barrels. Let me just say, we are good. Some things I did learn on this site from a past post about when neighbors come knocking, and you have to really pick and choose, who to help and that most certainly came in handy, because I have been telling these people for YEARS “Ya’ll need to prepare for a SHTF scenario”. Well they did not, and came knocking, and I had to make the hard decision to very minimally assist and that hurt me, as I am a Christian, but the fact of the matter remains that it’s like one of Daisy’s articles that said it’s like being in an airplane, Put Your Mask On First, along with with other good tips. I also want to say that the hacks for cleaning without water work. I am cleaning now w/ very minimal water and everything in that article. I guess that I am just rambling now, because I am in shock, because I never thought I would have to use these tips, so as Selco says, some are not mentally prepared, and that would be me, but I am putting on my Big Cowgirl boots and getting to work. Thanks to you all for these great posts and keep us here in Texas in ya’lls prayers.

  • So many Texans didn’t have water, food, and emergency supplies stored. It’s so basic and has been recommended for everyone to do for a long, long time. While it wouldn’t have solved all their problems, it certainly would have helped. It’s not the government’s job to take care of us; we need to take care of ourselves, and part of the way we do that is by being prepared for emergencies like these. There are many lessons for Texas and for the rest of the U.S. to learn from the tragic debacle currently going on there.

  • 2018 prices of electricity: Texas 11.36 cents/kWh, California 19.90 cents/kWh. California enacted a 10% surcharge to electricity to pay for their energy crisis of 2000(?) Surcharge was suppose to end December 31, 2020, but the legislators extended it to pay for (?). Reliability costs money. California would not allow new thermal power plants to be built and relies on electricity imports from other states, Canada. Texas has very few electric interconnections from other areas.

    • “Reliability costs money”

      and that’s why so many utilities are laboring under ancient and inefficient equipment – the customers don’t want to pay for “reliability” until they start losing power on a regular basis (and if the customers have grown too used to cheap power they will refuse to pay for reliable power even in the face of multiple outages – “we have a right to power!”

  • Time for the after action reports to slowly come in. Yes we drained our hoses, turned off our pumps, ect. However it got colder and longer than we have had in the past, so our house pump died even though we had it covered and turned off. Will have to insulated even better. I stored water inside for livestock, pets and us, but still was not enough. We will be moving a water tank physically into the barn for the future. Even so, the water inside the barn froze. Need to buy blankets to cover the tank when a winter storm comes.

    Citrus trees in the greenhouse were covered, but I am not sure they will make it. Will have to redesign a better greenhouse. Not sure the onions, leeks or garlic outside will make it even though I covered them. Some lessons are learned. I am considering buying more container variety of plants. Less produce, but can be moved inside. Also relocated out of the sun due to the high UV we had last year.

    Our neighbor called and had been without power for over 40 hours. The house phone also would not work, but they had cell reception.The replaced their electric heater last year with propane which is good down to negative 45 degrees. Otherwise they would of froze in their mobile home.

    We had gasoline, but when my husband went to town for gas he found all the pumps empty. When they were refilled it did us no good. The highway was then closed and the sheriff department was not allowing traffic to proceed. Luckily we still have gas and will refill tomorrow.

    On a up note…the dogs loved the snow, however the chickens refused to leave their coop.

  • This is why I am confident in America and proud to be an American, when people come together everything is possible. Did anyone ask who was a democrat or who is a republican, no. We are stronger together and the more together we are, the stronger we become. Thank you everybody I really needed to read something positive today. Congratulations, we will overcome whatever is thrown at us cause that is who we are. Texas will be fine and be stronger when this is over. Lessons learned by experiance are the ones best remembered. Texas will be prepared next time and won’t be fooled again. Daisy has prepared you well and made you think outside the box. For a while federal=failure, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. The meaning has changed since the 60’s message is the same. Kennedy was a democrat that now sounds like a republican, how strange and just like me.
    I know I haven’t contributed today but thank all of you.
    God bless, protect and guide our country and our people.

  • a simple thing I do here in Montana, I have thermal/blackout curtains up on most of my windows. I also use plastic drop cloths attached to the inside of the windows, they are taped at the top and the sides, leave the bottom loose. That is a normal weather prep many do here, it makes a another layer of air between the window and your room. Moisture will drain out the bottom but slightly warmer air is trapped between the plastic and the window. You can then hang sheets, blankets also on the inside to help trap the colder air at the window. During our many subzero nights I will hang a light blanket on my door to keep some of the cold out. The door is metal so transmits cold directly into the room. I close all the doors into other rooms and stay in the main rooms where you can generate some heat in what ever way you can.

    • That article is pushing the propaganda.
      The turbines couldn’t deal with the ice buildup and freezing rain winterized or not., they can deal with cold temps just fine.
      Not much they can do to the blades them selves in the short term so yes it was a failure of the turbines that caused *part” of the problem.

      All the huge infrastructure to manufacture aside turbines are not all that green, but the massive tonnage of blade waste is significant.

  • I can certainly feel for those poor Texans. Here in central Iowa, we were hit with a massive derecho wind storm last August and my city was without electricity for over a week. I personally had no electricity for 13 days due to a downed line to my house. It was pretty hellish. That happened during summer where the worst part was sweating in your home at night because it was hot and humid all day long. I can’t imagine how bad it would be in the winter with sub freezing temps. I thought I had it bad last year, but it’s nothing compared to what’s going on in Texas now. I still have my suspicion about weather warfare……HAARP or China or Russia altering the jet stream. Who knows? But I hope Texas makes it and adds fuel to their desire to secede from the US.

  • As a prepper/Survivalist one always prepares for the worst case scenario. Texans should be cognizant of the grid weakness and water issues that could happen occasionally. I would advise purchasing little buddy heaters or whole house NG/ LP generators for heat. For drinking water a Big Berkey filter system ( even in water affluent WI I have one of these ) or other system to have drinking water available. The problem of course is after the fact and now you have to get these when others also may want them. Plan for the worst; hope for the best.

  • I don’t know if this has been brought up here, but has anyone thought that this weather was engineered by HAARP or another type of weather engineering?
    The idea has been known for decades.

  • I have been sayiing for decades that Cardboard is your friend. Take a refrigerator box and properly break it down for storage. Take same and reassemble and put in the middle of your living room and you can handle some cold temps particularly with a good sleeping bag.
    Add cardboard under you, put into your windows, add to the walls and ceiling.

    The foam in your furniture is mostly open cell foam also ergo the moisture moves from hot damp to the cold side…..take a cushion and attach to your back and front against the skin and you will be amazed. IT must be protected from a breeze but there are not a lot of breezes inside the home or car. Auto interiors also have open cell for the seats.

    Take sheets of the foam and make crude shoes and gloves…………..hey, warm is fashionable not looks. Always wear a hat when cold as 50% of your heat is lost through your head and many times it will cure cold feet!.

    Take it for what its worth and i pray the weather will moderate and more will prepare.

    We are warm due to propane which is running out fast due to me not gettin the last delivery on time but i was prepared with a back up wood supply and multible other containers of propane that can be brought on line if mandatory. We did loose our drinking water but i can go dip it out of the cistern with a #10 bucket, nail for holes in it and a piece of electrical wire for a handle……………life is good when you are prepared even in the worst of time.

  • If you have rice, soak it in the water you measure for cooking.White can soak about 15 minutes and brown several hours.When the power comes on bring to a boil.The white rice will take around 10 minutes to cook.If you can boil it for 5 min and the power goes out wrap it in a blanket and set it in a box or a ice cooler and pack the space with towels or newspaper.It will cook in the residual heat.It will take a bit longer for brown rice.You can do the same with any grains or oatmeal.Then you can wrap up in your towels while eating.

    In Maine winters we used to heat bricks on the wood stove, then wrap them up well with heavy fabric a potholder mitt or canvas grocery bag, then put in your bed to keep warm.near feet.

    Use thermos once you have boiled water to have hot drinks, it warms the body.If you have no tea or coffee but have dried herbs you can drink basil, sage,or thyme,steeped in hot water. If you have apple cider vinegar and sugar or honey.It will help keep your electrolytes up. If you need sugar to aid your blood sugar needs ketchup has a lot of sugar in it.

    Boil eggs by bringing pot of ice to boil and if the boil 5 minutes they can cook in the residual heat for 10 minutes.Or if you have any boullion cubes boil water add the cubes then beat the egg right in the pot and turn off heat,for a nourishing egg drop soup.

    • We live in Oregon and had a severe storm with wet snow near the end of February 2019. We got three feet of snow overnight.
      Power lines went down throughout our county. We were in a similar situation as Texas. Our home is outside of town so we were without power for 18 days. Fortunately, we have a wood stove and live on wooded property so heat was not an issue. We couldn’t pump water from our well but I had purchased a 35 gallon water drum as well as several 6 and 7 gallon water containers at Walmart. We have a Big Birkey gravity water filter that we used to filter all that stored water. I had tubs of canned and dried food, meat, fruit and veggies. Our cooking stove is on propane so we were good there. Having three feet of snow, we were able to melt buckets of snow by the wood stove for the first few days to flush the toilet. Once the snow melted, we used the many gallon jugs from vinegar, my favorite laundry and household cleaning product, that I fill with water and store in an outbuilding. Remember, you can always buy a cheap porta potty from any survival store. That is a 5-gallon bucket with a toilet seat and biohazard plastic bags. That takes hardly any room in a closet or garage. We had battery-powered lanterns but the best thing for cooking in the dark is headlamps. We had one headlamp and it was wonderful, but I have since purchased 3 more. Fortunately, we had a good supply of paper plates, paper bowls and plastic ware so that we didn’t have to wash a lot of dishes. We also had rechargeable battery packs for cell phones and the Kindle that I am well attached to.

      The day the power crew came to replace our broken power pole and restore power to our house, was a day that I will never forget. The crew was made up of men from several states. They told us that when they arrived in town there were no motel rooms available and our local utility called everywhere to find these men places to sleep. They actually thanked us for being patient and not blaming them for the lengthy delay in restoring our power and that they had people trying to bribe them to hook them up first. Our county had to borrow power poles, telephone poles, from neighboring states, which took some time. There was a picture of a linesman atop a power pole with ice hanging off of his heavy coat in the newspaper.

      Lessons learned: Have several headlamps. Have one or more battery-operated fans to blow warm air from a wood stove into other areas of the house.

      FYI: I gave the crew that spent 3 hours replacing our power pole and giving us power a big box of cookies that I had put in for emergencies. This was certainly an emergency.

      Daisy is responsible for making me alert to how to prepare for any emergency.

  • Things you can do to keep warmer.

    Use bubble wrap and water to freeze it to window increases insulation value

    2 same window use plastic wrap on inside frame for even more insulation value

    Use blankets on walls using nails.

    Make a smaller shelter inside room most inside your home. You can use tin foil/ mylar to line it so when you use candle or body heat it reflects heat back.

    Share blankets and body heat

    Put outer layer of clothes in blanket with you by feet so warmer when you get into them

    Wear a hat not a cowboy or baseball but a wool one if none use a wool sock. Even when you sleep

    Drink water dehydration makes hypothermia worse.

    Wear gloves sock will do.

    If you have bbq and a metal bucket heat rocks outside and put in metal bucket then bring inside to place on wood/metal stand the rocks give off heat for awhile no risk of carbon monoxide.

    Cooking oil burns use it and other oils in a wick dish to create heat and light.. butter works aswell

    If its yellow let it stay if its brown flush to save water.

    You can make a solar cooket from tinfoil and plastic wrap look on you tube even if cold it still heats food no fire required.

    On southern facing windows black garbage bags tacked to frame on inside will absorb heat from sun transferring it to room

    Use bath towels to insulate walls

  • I wanted to thank Daisy for providing this opportunity for others to share their ideas. I’m sure lives were saved and you provided comfort for those in dire need. Americans are strong, resilient, loving people and we can get through anything together. Hang on and hang in there!

  • Preppe’rs be like “bring it on, i”m ready(helps to justify my efforts, and test my preps!) I live in Alabama, The impact lasted a day or less. Was ready! Between my SUBARU and my preps. Although my grocery stores have no produce or non-frozen meats this weekend due to supply chain disruption.

  • If you are concerned about grid down cooking, my best recommendation is the Camp Chef Stove/Oven. There are two burners on top and an oven below. The stove/oven runs on propane. You can use the one pound propane cylinders or get an adaptor so you can use 20, 30 0r 40 pound cylinders with a 6 to 12 foot hose.

  • Texan to Texan,

    When the storm hit we were prepared in the Hill Country, but had just purchased a home at the coast and decided to leave our college age boys in one house and us parents went to winterize the new beach house. I was nervous leaving them alone.
    This storm was a huge lesson for the boys. When the temp hit 7 degrees and they lost electricity we spoke briefly on the phone day 1 and this was what I told them:
    We would not be returning until the storm was over & they were on their own. No one but neighbors could help them. Calmly I assessed the situation.
    They had a fireplace with lots of wood to keep them warm.
    Sleep by the fire at night to stay warm.
    They had food to eat and a gas (propane) stove for hot meals. (Used paper plates and napkins were burned in the fire)
    Don’t drive anywhere for ANY reason – stay safe & stay home.
    Don’t use the gas generator unless things really go from bad to worse.
    Go outside for a nature bathroom.
    Power their cell phones in their cars so we could communicate.
    We made it home on Saturday, leaving our beach house without water but our boys were fine, only needing a shower. A broken poolside pipe caused us to shut off our water yesterday, but hubby has fixed it. What we did have: Candles, warm heavy bedding, food, gas tank, water tank, river water, pool water, backup generator, wood supply & good old common sense. Thank God the cell service didn’t go down!

  • You Need More Than Food to Survive

    In the event of a long-term disaster, there are non-food essentials that can be vital to your survival and well-being. Make certain you have these 50 non-food stockpile essentials. Sign up for your FREE report and get prepared.

    We respect your privacy.
    Malcare WordPress Security