City of San Antonio, Bexar County, CPS Energy and VIA share coordinated preparedness information regarding the upcoming arctic blast

Release posted from City of San Antonio on 12/19/2022

SAN ANTONIO (December 19, 2022) – The National Weather Service has forecasted that a strong arctic cold front will move through the San Antonio area and will bring the coldest temperatures we have seen this season. Temperatures are expected to drop below 20 degrees on Thursday night and Friday morning, with wind chills ranging from -10 to 10 degrees.

CPS Energy has strengthened the resiliency of is power plants against sustained freezing temperatures by implementing winterization initiatives. ERCOT has said it expects sufficient generation to meet forecasted demand, but CPS Energy urges energy conservation to help residents save money on their bills.

The City, County and partners strongly urge all residents to prepare for cold weather by remembering the Four Ps: People, Pets, Plants & Pipes.

PEOPLE

Keep warm and dress in layers. Check on family, friends and neighbors who may be more vulnerable to this week’s cold weather or may not have access to housing and heating, including the elderly and those with special needs.

San Antonio Fire Department recommends:

  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
  • Install and maintain CO (carbon monoxide) alarms to avoid the risk of CO poisoning.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Never use a generator indoors.
  • Always plug portable heaters directly into a wall socket (no power strips).
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Never leave children unattended in a room with a space heater.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month.

311 Customer Service is open from 7 a.m. to midnight on Thursday and Friday, December 22 and 23, 2022. 311 will operate throughout the holidays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Residents may call 311 (210-207-6000) or use the 311 SA mobile app.

Rental Property Tips

Landlords are obligated to maintain their rental properties to the minimum standards set by the San Antonio Property Maintenance Code (Sec 6-52). Heating equipment must be able to maintain a minimum inside temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit (measured three feet above the floor). To report suspected violations, call 311 (210-207-6000).

Warming Centers

The City and County will open seven warming centers to offer short-term emergency shelter starting this Thursday, December 22, 2022, at 3 p.m. Anyone coming to the center should bring clothes, supplies and medicine. The centers are accessible and inclusive. Kennels will be available in a separate area for pets at Normoyle, South Side Lions and Garza centers.

  1. Normoyle Community Center 700 Culberson Ave, 78225
  2. South Side Lions Senior Center 3303 Pecan Valley Drive, 78210
  3. Garza Community Center 1450 Mira Vista, 78228
  4. Christ the King Lutheran Church – 1129 Pat Booker Road, Universal City, 78148 
  5. Emergency Services District 5 – 7120 E. 6th Street, Somerset, 78069
  6. Emergency Services District 3 – 23103 Bulverde Road, San Antonio, 78259
  7. Emergency Services District 7 – 11617 Galm Road, San Antonio, 78254

VIA passengers may travel fare-free to or from a warming center. Passengers using VIA bus service or VIA Link should alert the bus operator when boarding; VIAtrans passengers should alert the reservation agent when booking a VIAtrans trip.

Residents may also call 311 (210-207-6000) to request a trip to a warming center. Emergency trips cannot be arranged directly with VIA.

Unsheltered Individuals

Last week, the City and its non-profit partners including Corazon Ministries, Christian Assistance Ministry, Haven for Hope and Communities Under the Bridge began contacting unsheltered individuals to provide them with warm weather clothing, blankets, transportation, shelter and meal information. Haven for Hope has expanded intake hours and emergency bed capacity. Communities Under the Bridge will open for meals and shelter December 22-25, 2022.

The Homeless Connections Hotline (210-207-1799) is available Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will remain open until 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, December 22, and December 23, 2022.

PETS

Pets should be brought indoors and provided with a warm place to sleep.

State law dictates dogs cannot be tethered with any size chain at any time; it also states dogs cannot be left outdoors restrained and unattended in the case of officially defined extreme weather or situations in which an animal is in severe distress including conditions in which the actual or effective outdoor temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

Animal Care Officers will be on patrol through the rest of the week. Potential violators can face impoundment of their pet, fines up to $2,000 and 180 days in jail for repeat offenders. To report suspected violations, call 311 (210-207-6000).

Farm Animals and Livestock

Farm animals and livestock rely on their humans to protect them and keep them safe.

  • Have adequate food and water. Animals and livestock should have plenty of food and a steady supply of water. During extremely cold temperatures, water will freeze. You will need to break up ice or replace the frozen water.
  • Provide warm bedding. Make sure that there is adequate bedding for each animal. 
  • Add extra feed. Animals need to eat more in cold weather to provide extra calories for heat energy. 

PLANTS

Plants may need to be covered or brought inside to avoid frost damage.

PIPES

San Antonio Water System reminds residents:

  • Allow one internal faucet to slowly drip to keep water moving in your pipes during coldest temperatures. 
  • If your home has plumbing in cabinets on outside walls without insulation, leave the cabinet doors open to allow warmer indoor air to circulate. 
  • Cover and insulate outdoor pipes. Local hardware stores have foam insulation and faucet protectors, but even wrapping pipes with rags or newspapers will do. 

SAWS has created a webpage with infographics and how-to videos in both English and Spanish to prepare for and prevent water emergencies at saws.org/BeReady (English) or saws.org/Preparate (Spanish). 

Know where your meter cutoff valve is. If pipes freeze, SAWS has created a video on how to turn off water at the meter: 

https://youtu.be/BYp_9JZQb3A (English)  https://youtu.be/mghj_zDD7IU (Spanish)

CPS Energy

CPS Energy crews are prepared to respond to any local weather-related outages. High winds are in the forecast, and CPS Energy reminds residents to stay away from downed power lines and report them at 210-353-4357 (HELP). Do NOT attempt to move or drive over the lines.

Sign up for Energy Alerts or call 210-353-2222 to provide your emergency contact information.

CPS Energy has created winter preparation pages in English at CPSenergy.com/Prepare and Spanish at CPSenergy.com/Preparar. For additional winter safety tips, visit www.cpsenergy.com/wintersafety.

RESOURCES

  • For the latest forecast from the National Weather Service, visit weather.gov/ewx
  • Sign up for emergency notifications at saoemprepare.com/Emergency-Notifications
  • Download a Winter Preparedness Guide and plan today at sanantonio.gov
  • For information on roadway conditions, visit DriveTexas or call 800-452-9292
  • For travel planning and other tips visit TxDOT Safety Guide for Winter Travel
  • SAWS media materials available for download at https://bit.ly/SAWSbeReady
  • Fire safety information is available at FireSafeSA.com

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