Texans reconsider disaster preparedness plans after historic winter storm

Jeff Ehling Image
Thursday, February 18, 2021
Texans reconsider disaster plans after historic winter storm
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After days without power in extreme temperatures, many Texans say they'll be doing more to prepare for disasters in the future.

The Texas winter storm has some people asking, "How prepared do I really need to be?"

The one thing we have seen over and over again is that very few were prepared to live without power and water during this historic cold.

Some people even turned to the bayou for water to use in their bathrooms. You know things are desperate when Houstonians fill jugs with bayou water so they can flush their toilets.

On the west side of town, people stood in line at Haden Park just to get water. In Austin, where snow is still on the ground, one woman decided to use melted snow.

"At this point, we're dangerously low on water," Julie Crawford said. "So now what we have been doing all day is coming outside, getting snow, and putting it in our propane grill."

On Galveston Island, a free water distribution site operated for hours as car after car pulled in to get water.

"A lot of people without water, so we are doing what we can," Galveston Parks Director Cesar Garcia said.

RELATED: Texans running out of food as weather crisis disrupts supply chain

With no power and no water, island residents are desperate. The search for food is becoming another struggle.

"When you go out, you cannot find food, and when you do, you have to stand in line for four or five hours," one resident said.

The Department of Homeland Security recommends having three days of food and water on hand for each person in your home to survive a disaster.

Some survivalist groups say that's not enough. They recommend enough food and water for everyone in your home to last for 14 days.

With the winter storm and power outages, many are realizing the plans they made were not enough to get through this ordeal.

"It's my own fault because I didn't prepare just like a hurricane. We all know how to get prepared, get ready, one Houstonian said. "This, we figured, [it's an] overnight deal, it would be back to normal. But it didn't happen."

The time to plan is before a disaster, right now. People are hoping the store shelves get restocked and the water becomes drinkable again soon.

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SEE ALSO: 2 winter storm tragedies leaves 2 Houston-area families with little to nothing