Cold Weather Assistance

 Julianna Scruggs    February 17, 2021
Find resources for giving, utility info and more to help you and your neighbors this week.

Give Help

Austin Area Urban League | Fundraiser
Donate funds to the #LoveThyNeighborTX emergency campaign to provide shelter, food, water, and clothing to those in need during this week’s emergency.

FrontSteps | Fundraiser | Blanket Drive
FrontSteps is accepting blanket donations at their 500 E 7th St location. You can also donate funds on their website.

Austin Pets Alive | Fundraiser | Donate Gas & Water
No-kill animal shelter at 1156 W Cesar Chavez St needs donations of regular unleaded gasoline for their generators and drinking water for people and animals. They also have information and items to make outdoor enclosures for feral animals in your area.

Volunteer
Volunteer through AAUL.org to assist people who are being taken into the warming shelters. Check on neighbors and invite people in who are without power or water.

Donate Food | Call Central Texas Food Bank
All cold shelters are accepting food donations. Do not drive to shelters without 4-wheel-drive.

Shelter Intake

Check Shelter availability | Find your nearest shelter
Shelters are filling up. Officials recommend bringing all your necessities as resources are limited (food, bedding, water, etc). Pets are accepted at all shelters, cared for by Animal Services.

Transportation
Officials say stay off the road. Call 311 for assistance getting to shelters.

Driving | Call 311 | TXDoT Info
Dial 311 for assistance getting to shelters. For life-threatening emergencies only, call 911. For roadside assistance call 800-525-5555. For current road information call 800-452-9292

Officials say to stay off the road as emergency vehicles are having trouble navigating around all the crashed cars. Anything without 4-wheel-drive is likely to get stuck on ice. If you have 4WD, you may consider volunteering to shuttle people to shelters.

Buses | CapMetro | Service Alerts
Most CapMetro services will be suspended and rerouted to shelters through Wednesday. No one will be denied transportation to shelters.

Bus lines 1, 7, 10, 20, 801, and 30 are also being allocated to adult intake at Palmer Events Center. Bus lines 2, 4, 6, 7, and 10 support intake for families with children at Downtown Salvation Army.

Flying | ABIA | Cancellations
All flights in and out of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport are cancelled through Tuesday. Officials say crews are working to remove ice and service through this airport may resume as early as Wednesday.

Get Help

Cold Hotline | 512-305-ICEE (4233)
Austin’s Cold Weather Hotline has info on safety, shelter, and public transport options. 911 is not taking calls for power outages, only emergencies including those resulting from outages. 311 has been spotty, so customers are directed to contact 311 via social media or the 311 app.

Help for Pets | cold@austinpetsalive.org
Blankets, heating devices, and other materials for outdoor animal enclosures and cold weather are available outside the Townlake Animal Shelter at 1156 W Cesar Chavez St.

Food | Call 211
If you are without food, City of Austin recommends dialing 211 rather than driving to get food. Bring food with you to shelters. All cold shelters are accepting food donations and will attempt to provide food, including baby food, at shelters.

Water Utilities | Subfreezing Protocol
Follow City of Austin subfreezing protocol to prevent your pipes from breaking. Conserve dripping water for later use. Locate your shut-off valve at the street. Find a can of WD40 in case you need to use the valve and it is frozen open. If you have a problem with the shutoff, Austin Water’s 24-Hour Emergency Hotline is 512-972-1000.

Cities around Austin, including Pflugerville, Kyle, Taylor, and some parts of Williamson County are asked to boil water as water treatment plants shutdown. Mayor Adler says Austin is not in this situation.

Electric Utilities | Austin Electric Outage Map
City and energy officials warn everyone to lower power usage as the grid is at risk of failure. Consider switching off fuses for everything non-essential (all but furnaces, water heaters, and smoke alarms, etc). This could help get rolling outages working.

Track City of Austin electricity outages here. Round Rock outages can be tracked here. Outages for some Metro areas West of Austin can be tracked here.

Gas Utilities | Conservation & Upcoming Outage
Texas Gas customers are asked to follow natural gas conservation guidelines to prolong service in the area. Customers are warned that freezing gas wells will likely soon lead to service disruptions. After disruption, service will take an “extended length of time” to restore. 

Low pressure due to cold may render propane gas tanks unusable. Officials warn not to use portable propane gas heaters inside.

Internet & Cell Service | Down Detector | Is the Service Down
Use the above links to find outage history for internet and cell phone service providers. Outages have been reported for multiple cell and internet providers in Austin.

COVID | Testing | Vaccines
Austin Public Health is cancelling some COVID testing and vaccine appointments. Call Austin Public Health Nursing Hotline at 512-972-5560 for help.