Twitter advice: Users tell Texas how to survive a snowstorm
When Winter Storm Uri pummeled through Texas on Monday, no one could have predicted the danger & devastation it would leave in its wake. Texas, notorious for its hot weather, is not a state accustomed to dealing with snow, let alone blizzard level snow.
As the storm hit on Monday night, millions of homes in Texas lost power. For many, this meant that they had no way of heating their homes against the fierce cold weather enveloping their state. Residents expected the power to be restored by Tuesday morning, but as snow kept falling at unprecedented rates, power outages only increased around the state.
The Texan powergrid runs independently from that of the rest of the United States. Usually, that isn’t too much of an issue. During Uri however, it has proved catastrophic. Had Texas been connected to the rest of the country, power could have been transferred into Texas from other states and heat could have quickly been restored in those homes. Instead, a humanitarian crisis is currently unfolding.
Homes are flooded with freezing water. Some are barricaded with rigid ice. Power & heating are scarce throughout the state, and people are freezing. When the storm initially hit, not foreseeing the danger of the situation, many Twitter users used the opportunity to create humor. The sentiment has definitely changed now.
The current death toll in Texas from Winter Storm Uri stands at 47 people. As photos & reports emerged from the snow covered state, the rest of the United States has been watching in horror at the condition people are enduring to survive within. The Twitter community is now mass tweeting, trying to raise awareness and send aid to Texas.
Here are some of the heartfelt Twitter accounts, doing what they can for Texas right now.
* take old clothes/blankets/etc, preferably wool or cotton of dark colors, and layer between the window glass and the screens or the inside of the windows and some cardboard. Glass is where you lose the most room heat.
* Wear a hat and socks, even to sleep
— rahaeli (@rahaeli) February 15, 2021
Cover the glass
While you may want to keep all the blankets for your bodies, if you have no power and no fireplace in a blizzard, it’s important to cover glass windows and walls if possible. Normally, closing windows would be enough, but if the power is out for an unexpected amount of time, residents will want to further insulate those windows to keep as much heat indoors as possible.
In houses that have poorly sealed windows, duct tape is a good solution to add additional coverage to cracks and crevices that might allow heat to escape. In the absence of duct tape, any kind of tape will do, however duct tape is likely to endure the changes in air temperature & moisture changes within the home.
OKAY listen up, this is a thread for all my cold friends out there who aren’t used to severe cold. HOW TO LAYER, A GUIDE TO STAYING WARM, USING ONLY CLOTHING YOU PROBABLY ALREADY HAVE, NO FANCY SILK UNDERWEAR OR WHATEVER.
— Tea Berry-Blue (@teaberryblue) February 16, 2021
Cover your body – all of it
Those of us who are not used to dealing with hardcore snow, don’t understand the real implications that can happen to the body once extreme cold sets in. It’s not just enough to wear long pants and a jacket. Your entire body needs to be covered well, especially in absence of a heated home.
This means wearing multiple pairs of socks – the thicker the better. Up to three is good as anything less in conditions that Texas is currently experiencing might not cut it. You also need to think about your hands to avoid frostbite. Woolen gloves are ideal, but in the event that Texans don’t have those readily available in the home, thick garden gloves will do.
In the absence of any kind of gloves in the home, resort to socks. Like your feet, you will need multiple layers of socks covering your hands to get the job done. Rubber dish gloves will not protect you from frostbite here, so don’t even bother trying to make that work.
Additionally, you need to wear multiple shirts. Long sleeve cotton undershirts, turtle neck sweaters layered under hoodies. Those also need to be accompanied by the heaviest winter jacket possible. Likewise for pants. Start with workout tights and layer them. Add sweatpants on top and then something heavy like jeans over those where possible.
Finally you need a hat and some kind of face covering. Preferably a beanie made of wool or something equally as heavy. If a stretchable face covering is not available in the house, pulling up a turtleneck sweater to cover your mouth and nose will help.
– Choose 1 room to inhabit
– Move all furniture to external walls
– Move your mattress to the center of the 1 room
– Block pets from leaving that room, put all needs in it
– If your fridge is warming up, put all perishable items in a trash bag and place outside, form snow around
— 🥕EasterGryffon🐇 (@CherryGryffon) February 15, 2021
Choose one room
This piece of advice actually came from many people all over Twitter. Regardless of the size of your house (but especially if it’s large) choose just one room that you can seal off from all others to inhabit for the duration of the power outage. Close all the doors, sealing them as best as possible. Duct taping the door closed to seal off cracks may not be ideal, but definitely block the crack near the floor with blankets or sheets.
Ensure there are as many blankets and comfortable places to rest in this room for everyone in the home. If need be, bring in other furniture to accommodate everyone. Move all the furniture that won’t be used for sitting and sleeping to the outer walls of the room, ensuring that rest places are in the middle where most of the heat will dwell.
In the event that sun arrives during your power outage, take the blankets off the windows and allow as much sun into the room as possible. Make sure to recover the windows before the sun disappears though, and certainly before darkness descends.
* Get in the bed and stay there. Let your pets on the bed even if they aren’t usually allowed: they’re cold too, but also, they produce A LOT of body heat
* Stay dry as much as you can; even if you still have hot water, skip the shower, it’s a net personal heat loss
— rahaeli (@rahaeli) February 15, 2021
Get in bed
Whether you’re used to sleeping alone or not, allow as many people into the bed as comfortable and pile on the blankets. The communal body heat underneath the blankets will do wonders for fighting off hypothermia. Our pets also generate a lot of body heat, so even if they’re not normally allowed, let them under the blankets too. Not only are they cold, they’ll help keep you warm.
In the event that you live alone, still get in bed. Pile on as many blankets as you can tolerate and make sure to keep all those layers of clothes on – including your hat.
Helpful guide on how to stay warm tonight during the #TexasWinterStorm2021 ❄️.
Stay safe everyone! 🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/x1ZlQj4eVa
— Paola Johnson (@PaolaJohnsonTS) February 17, 2021
Replenish your body
While this might be obvious, it’s important to keep eating and drinking water during your power outage. While cooking will probably be out of the question unless you have some kind of portal gas powered camp stove, eat whatever you can. Food provides energy to warm up the body, and everything counts during this trying time.
Drink water and fluids that will keep you hydrated, as the air during a blizzard is typically very dry. It’s important to avoid liquids that will dehydrate you, like caffeine and alcohol until power is restored.