City of Austin Utilities Help Customers Prepare for Winter Weather

January 9, 2023

AUSTIN—Austin Water, Austin Energy and the City of Austin Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management are helping customers take steps now to prepare for the upcoming winter season. Meter keys, hose bib covers, hand-crank flashlights, emergency preparedness kit materials and winter preparedness tip sheets will be provided. The City provided winter weather preparedness items in November and demand was high. Because of the popularity of those events, customers are encouraged to arrive early to pick up supplies. Note: one meter key per person.

Customers can pick up these supplies, while they last, at City of Austin Utilities Customer Service Centers (UCSC) in January:

North UCSC:
8716 Research Blvd., Suite 115
Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023
8 a.m. – Until supplies run out

East UCSC:
Rosewood-Zaragosa Center
2800 Webberville Road
Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023
8 a.m. – Until supplies run out

South UCSC:
1901 W. William Cannon Drive, Suite 100
Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023
8 a.m. – Until supplies run out

Customers are also urged to tune in for emergency alerts by:

Note: Austin Water’s 24-Hour Emergency Hotline can be reached at 512-972-1000, Option 1

Emergency Weather Tips from Homeland Security and Emergency Management

The key to being prepared before any emergency is to follow the four pillars of preparedness: make a plan, build a kit, know your neighbors, and stay informed.

Learn winter weather tips and more about emergency preparedness at Stay informed by signing up for more information in several ways.

  • Download the Ready Central Texas phone application for iPhone or Android phones to get alerts and a digital copy of the Neighborhood Preparedness Guide
  • Sign up at Warn Central Texas to receive alerts for your neighborhood, letting you know when to take immediate action to stay safe.
  • In an emergency, follow to get up to date emergency information in multiple languages
  • Follow @AustinHSEM on Facebook and Twitter
  • To receive emergency alerts in American Sign Language (ASL) register through the City’s Accessible Hazard Alert System (AHAS), or for quick SMS registration text AHAS to (737) 241-3710. Austin and Travis County AHAS subscribers in an area affected by an emergency or disaster will be able to receive an accessible alert message in ASL and English voice and text.

Tips to prepare your pipes for freezing weather:

1. Locate your water shutoff.
Locate the water main shutoff valve and keep it clear of debris and obstacles at all times. For most homes, the property owner’s shutoff valve is on your side of the water meter at the meter box. For renters, please consult with your property manager. If you cannot find your shutoff valve or if it is damaged, then you should be prepared to access the City shutoff valve in the meter box in an emergency. You may need a water meter key to open the meter box, which can be purchased at most hardware stores.
Watch a video about how to locate your water shutoff.

2. Weatherize to keep out cold air.
Make repairs to broken or drafty windows, doors, and walls. Seal all leaks in crawl spaces and basements. Winterize unheated spaces and be prepared to close garage doors for the duration of the freeze. Gather supplies to cover vents on your home’s foundation.

3. Weatherize exposed pipes and water heaters.
Prepare to insulate pipes in unheated and drafty areas, such as an attic or garage. Also check manufacturer recommendations for your tanked and tankless water heaters. Hardware and plumbing supply stores carry insulation to help keep pipes from freezing. Get all supplies now so you are ready to wrap pipes and water heaters when a winter storm is approaching.

4. Learn how to drip faucets properly.
After the measures above are taken, drip one cold water faucet slowly if you feel your pipes may still freeze. The faucet you choose should be the one that is the greatest distance from your main shutoff valve. It does not need to be a running trickle. If you do drip your faucet, capture the water for future use.
Watch a video about how to drip faucets properly.

5. Outside faucets.
Austin Water encourages all customers to turn off irrigation systems during the winter months to help conserve water. Prepare supplies to wrap outside faucets with towels or a Styrofoam insulator.

6. Gather supplies to be prepared.
Having one gallon of water per person and pet per day for seven days on hand to help avoid the rush at stores when the first winter storm of the season approaches.

Emergency Weather Tips from Austin Energy

In case of a power outage:
To report a power outage, text OUT to 287846 or visit You can also report an outage by calling 512-322-9100.

  • Unplug appliances and turn off most lights to avoid overloading circuits when power is restored.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed during an outage and follow FDA guidelines for food safety.
  • Monitor ERCOT grid conditions at for information impacting local and statewide electricity service.
  • Follow Austin Energy on social media

Electrical Safety Tips:

  • If using an electric space heater, be sure it has an automatic shut-off switch and non-glowing elements, and make sure to keep away from flammable materials.
  • Never heat your home with a gas oven or burn anything in a stove or a fireplace that is not vented. Do not burn paper in a fireplace.
  • Do not drive over or go near a downed power line, as it could be energized. Call 311 if you see a downed line to report it. If the line is sparking, call 911.
  • If you see limbs on wires or see downed tree limbs, please call 311 to report them.
  • Learn more about how to stay warm, stay safe, and save on your utility bill during winter weather at