KILLEEN, Texas — Last year’s rare winter freeze impacted thousands of Texans resulting in over 200 lives lost. This year, officials are encouraging the community to create winter emergency kits to be better prepared for the cold months ahead.
The rare event left thousands in the state of Texas without power, including Kileen Fire Chief, James Kubinski.
“We did lose power for five days at my house only 14 days after moving here,” Kubinski said.
Which is why he is encouraging the community to create an emergency kit, just in case a similar situation ever arises again.
“Any survival type situation the best recommendation is to have anywhere from 3 – 5 days of supplies of the items that you would need to self-sustain without any help from the outside,” Kubinski said.
The main things you need in your emergency kit include gallons of water, blankets and jackets to fight the cold, a flashlight, first-aid kit, and canned goods.
“Things that are high in sodium, high in carbohydrates, those are what your body needs to survive,” Kubinski said.
And even with the cold we are seeing this winter, using a fireplace, candles and space heaters can be dangerous and cause a fire if left unattended.
“Even if you haven’t lost power in these cold months, some people like to use space heaters," Kubinski said. "You should only use that heater when you are awake and in the same room as that heater.”
And as Central Texas prepares for some colder weather, Kubinski emphasizes the importance of being winter weather aware when it comes to your house.
“A homeowner has to take the time learning about their house and the most important thing is knowing where your water shutoffs are because that is where the most damage occurs,” Kubinski explained.
With freezing temperatures, it is important to insulate your pipes, cover outlets on the side of your house and drain your sprinklers during the winter months to avoid pipe bursts.