AUSTIN, Texas (KTRK) -- Governor Greg Abbott is asking all Texans to start conserving the energy inside of their homes beginning on Sunday to brace for possible power outages during the expected winter storm.
In a press conference on Saturday, Abbott gave residents a few tips on small things they could do around their homes to help prevent major power loss around the state.
He said starting now, residents can set their thermostats to 68 degrees or lower, especially if they don't plan to be home for that time. Also, closing your shades and blinds can reduce the amount of heat that leaves your home.
Turning off and unplugging non-essential items around your home could be helpful in preventing your outlets from surging. Its also recommended for residents to not use major home appliances like a dishwasher or washing machine.
In addition to these tips, Abbott said he had plans to request a federal emergency disaster declaration from the White House.
He said that the state of Texas is simply not prepared to face the effects of freezing rain and that even the most experienced drivers may face difficulties on the road.
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"Every part of the state will face freezing conditions over the coming days, and I urge all Texans to remain vigilant against the extremely harsh weather that is coming," said Abbott. "Stay off the roads, take conscious steps to conserve energy, and avoid dangerous practices like bringing generators indoors or heating homes with ovens or stovetops. Our emergency response to this winter weather requires a collective approach between state agencies, local officials, and Texans throughout our communities to ensure the safety and security of the Lone Star State."
Additionally, he announced that business conducted by the Texas Railroad Commission has been suspended to ensure churches, hospitals, residences, and other human resource facilities can access gas during that time.
On Friday, Abbott issued a disaster declaration in all 254 counties in response to severe winter weather that is impacting Texas.
The governor is continuing to deploy state resources available to assist local officials in their response efforts. The Texas State Operations Center (SOC) has been ordered to operate for 24 hours a day through the end of next week.
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At the direction of the governor, the Texas Division of Emergency Management has deployed the following state resources to support winter weather response operations:
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