President Joe Biden approved an emergency declaration for the state of Texas and ordered federal assistance to supplement state and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from a severe winter storm.
The president's action authorizes the FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief efforts and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures. The declaration covers all 254 Texas counties.
Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Emergency protective measures for mass care and sheltering and direct federal assistance will be provided at 75 percent federal funding.
On Friday Governor Greg Abbott declared a disaster for all of Texas ahead of the storm. He is asking all Texans to conserve energy in an effort to alleviate 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.
Abbott 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.
The video featured above is from a previous report.