Cool News & Hot Topics
Arctic Front Event
Our operational area is under a severe weather advisory due to an Arctic Front Event that will be gradually strengthening throughout tomorrow into this weekend.
According to the National Weather Service (NWS), a cold front will move through our area on Thursday. Temperatures are expected to drop very quickly into the 30’s and 20’s by Thursday’s night. Wind Chill could make temperatures feel like they are in the 10’s or 1’s.
A Hard Freeze Watch has been issued for Harris County December 22 at 12:00 PM through December 24 at 12:00 PM. Additionally, a Wind Chill Watch has been issued for Harris County from December 22 at 6:00 PM through December 23 at 12:00 PM. Residents should expect additional watches and warnings to be issued through Saturday.
Please take the following measures throughout the rest of the week in preparation for this event:
If driving is necessary, take extra precautions while traveling for business or personal purposes
- Slow down – Ensure extra distance (reaction/stopping time) to traffic moving around you and driver under the speed limit due to possible ice on the roads
- Stay Aware – Eliminate driving distractions such as phones and loud music
- Watch for wet and/or icy roads – especially black ice (thin coating of glazed transparent ice) on roads on bridges and overpasses
- Inspect and prepare your vehicle – against ice, freezing precipitation and generally sub-optimal driving conditions. For further read, click here.
- Review Road Conditions – Road conditions before leaving your house Houston TranStar Map.
Use caution when walking on flat/sloped surfaces at work and at home
- Slow down, take small steps, and if possible, keep your hands free for balance
Secure vulnerable worksites, facilities and equipment against icy conditions and freezing precipitation
- Secure outdoor lifting equipment and/or erected stabilizing structures that may become compromised due to ice and wind
- Ensure exposed material susceptible to freezing is covered or otherwise protected against failure
- All outdoor and powered industrial equipment susceptible to damage from freezing and icing should be moved indoors
- Jobs occurring “at-height” or on elevated work platforms should have the area inspected for ice and be performed at an appropriate speed. Do not attempt to continue work/commute if it is not safe to do so
AT HOME TIPS:
- Keep warm, stay inside if possible.
- If you need to go out, dress in layers and wear hats, gloves, and an appropriate coat.
- Avoid overexertion, as cold weather puts added strain on your body.
- Prolonged exposure to the forecasted temperatures and wind may be fatal to unprotected livestock and pets.
- Bring pets inside and move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas.
- Keep adequate food and water available.
- Proper winterization of any exposed pipes/plumbing will be needed to prevent damage.
- Disconnect outdoor hoses, drain, and store in protected area.
- Wrap exposed faucets and pipes – including those outside the house or in unheated crawl spaces, attics, garages, and other areas.
- If leaving out of town for the upcoming holidays, shut off the main water supply and drain pipes to prevent damage should they burst.
- Bring potted plants inside or store in garage near interior wall to provide extra warmth and protection from wind.
- For cold-sensitive outdoor plants, put down extra mulch and consider covering with a cloth fabric of some kind to shield the plants from wind and frost.
- Tropical plants/vegetation will require maximum freeze protection.
Portable space heaters are often used to heat rooms and homes. If not used properly, they can cause fires, severe injuries, and death. If using a portable heater, remember these important safety tips:
- Keep heaters at least 3 feet from anything that can burn, including furniture, carpets, curtains, and people.
- Place heaters on solid, non-flammable surfaces.
- Never block exits with a heater and keep them out of the way of foot traffic.
- Keep children away from heaters.
- Always plug heaters directly into wall outlets – NEVER use an extension cord.
- Turn off and unplug space heaters when leaving a room or going to bed.
Protect yourself from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning by installing a battery-operated CO detector (if one is installed, check batteries) and never use generators, grills, camp stoves, or similar devices indoors.
For more information on how to prepare and stay safe during a winter weather event, visit https://www.readyharris.org/