Weather Safety

Stay Safe in All Kinds of Weather

Weather patterns in Central Texas vary greatly. Wind, rain, thunderstorms, hail, tornados, hurricanes, ice, and snow present safety hazards. Make sure you are ready for any weather that comes our way.

Stay Safe in Hot Weather

  • Protect yourself from heat illness. During extreme heat stay hydrated, use sunscreen, and limit outdoor activity.
  • Know the signs of heat illness and know where to get help. Find more information at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention page on preventing heat-related illness.
  • Be aware that children and the elderly are more susceptible to heat illness.
  • During times of extreme heat, City of Austin Library and Parks & Recreation facilities serve as cooling centers during normal operating hours. Check the webpage for more information.
  • Wildfire risk becomes greater in hot, windy weather. Be alert and call 9-1-1 if you see fire.

Stay Safe in Winter Weather

Ice Storms

Ice storms can damage power lines and electrical systems, causing power outages. In an ice storm, layers of ice form on power lines and tree branches that can become so heavy that branches break or rub against energized lines, or the lines themselves can sag or break. In these conditions it can be difficult to tell whether hot power lines are energizing things they may be touching.

  • If you experience a power outage, report it online or call 512-322-9100. For emergencies, call 9-1-1.
  • If you see downed power lines or lines hanging low due to ice accumulation, call 512-322-9100.
  • Stay at least 35 feet away from downed power lines. Understand that the ground near downed power lines may be energized.
  • Never knock icicles off power lines or any kind of electrical equipment.

Cold Weather Tips

  • Don’t overload outlets when trying to keep warm. Overloaded plugs can cause electrical fires.
  • According to the Electrical Safety Foundation, electric blankets cause some 500 fires every year, mostly from blankets that are more than ten years old.
    • Never plug electric blankets into power strips or extension cords.
    • Do not fold electric blankets when in use.
  • For information on using portable generators during power outages, visit our generator safety page.
  • Only use electric space heaters that have automatic shut-off switches and non-glowing elements. Make sure to keep them away from any flammable materials, like curtains or blankets.
  • Keep heat sources, like space heaters, at least 3 feet away from drapes, furniture, bedding, or anything that can burn. Never cover your space heater.
  • Never place a space heater on top of furniture or near water. Never leave children unattended near a space heater. Do not use extension cords with space heaters.
  • Turn off space heaters when leaving the room or going to bed for the night.
Date last reviewed or modified: 07/15/2024