2021 Texas Winter Weather (snowmageddon) Lessons Learned/AAR

Pearce

Amateur
All,

I know we're not yet through this winter storm event in South Texas (it's currently snowing again at my house)...but I wanted to start a thread on lessons learned from this winter storm that's currently hitting us.

Many of us down here (myself included) don't mess with this level of sustained cold temperatures/ice/or snow regularly so we're behind the power curve on winter preparedness.

I shamelessly stole this thread idea from the SOLGW Facebook group, but figure this is a better venue to retain the information for the long term.
 

MynameisDat

Amateur
I'll be buying a 4WD truck more capable of dealing with these adverse conditions.
2wd diesel ain't cutting it.
Additional ways to filter water is another one.
Other than that...I'm a lot better off than most. I can attribute that to growing up in South Louisiana and dealing with hurricanes so I had food/water to last me a while. I buy a cow a year roughly so good on meat. Also, those 50lb sacks of rice from the asian market are clutch. You can go full Bubba listing ways to cook it.
 

nightchief

Fighter of the Daychief
Mindset! We live in north Texas. Power went out in our location at 0200 Monday, and didn't come back for 36 hours. It got really cold in the house! When my wife and I woke up about 0800, we lazed in bed, trying to stay warm. Didn't really eat anything, and certainly didn't drink enough. When its close to zero, its incredibly dry, making hydration very important. As the temp kept dropping in the house, we determined the two of us and our three dogs needed to find another place to spend the night. We needed to get into action, while we still had daylight, as packing stuff to leave would be much harder after the sun went down.

We hadn't eaten, hadn't hardly hydrated, and were quite cold. After getting dressed and getting going, we warmed up quite a bit, but it was a rather frenetic exercise building go bags for each of us as well as the dogs, especially with no fuel run on.

Another thing, Sunday was Valentines Day. We made a really nice meal, and finished late, So we didn't clean up. "We'll do it tomorrow," was our plan. When we did want to eat something, we didn't have pots and pans to cook in or boil water (we have gas for heat and cooking) in.

All worked out, and we stayed with a (really good) friend that night. But what if we had to shelter in place?

Knowing the forecast called for the coldest temp in our area in possibly 50 years was looming, along with 20 mph winds, and several inches of snow, it was a foregone conclusion there could be power problems. It was just a role of the dice who would be affected. Not that we could easily predict a massive grid failure, but certainly power failures.

We had totally the wrong mindset going into this thing. We are northerners (Montana) who've been in Texas a long time. So snow and cold are not a new thing, just something we haven't dealt with in a while, and we should have held a different mindset going into this.

We did our own AAR of what went right and wrong, and we have some work to do.

These are just some of points we thought about...

***Cleaning ahead after the meal. If its a 75 degree day in May, with no inclement weather predicted, maybe this is ok, but not with an imminent storm of the century less that 8 hours away.

***Get your ass out of bed, eat a substantial meal, drink plenty of water, and start working the problem at hand. Prepare to depart if needed. Prepare to shelter in place if necessary.

***Create a "bug out" and "shelter in place" checklist, so the process isn't chaotic. Some things can be pre-planned, but some may need to occur after the decision to stay or go is made.

***Get things done ahead of time that might be helpful if the worse case happens. Example: Flag the water shut off valve cover in the yard so you easily find it after the snow has fallen.

There's undoubtedly more items and more discussion to be had. A generator is likely in out not so distant future, one that can at least keep a room or two around 60 degrees and run the important appliances in the house, like refrigerator, freezer, oven, and most certainly the coffee maker!

If you got this far, then thank you for reading my ramblings. This storm certainly should be an honorary part of the year 2020.

NC
 

whit77

Newbie
Luckily my mother in law never lost power (Austin area) so we were able to crash there. We brought some food with us to cook and a couple gas stations had some stuff. My 2WD Ram weathered the snow ok, the ice wasn’t terrible only a couple of small fish tails I was able to counter pretty easily.

To get list:
Small geny for fridge/freezer for now
More water storage and filtration
Stack up on dried foods
Look at larger generac like geny for planned new house
More cold gear
More power banks for charging
As an aside a fresh x300u will light up a room well for a minimum 2 hours before gradual dimming over 2 hours. Saved the mod light for personal use if needed


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Cgarcia

Amateur
A woodstove is definitely on my upcoming purchase list.

I was able to stay home and deal with loss of electricity and water pressure every roughly two hours from Sunday morning to Wednesday evening. Nothing major and was able to plan around the outages pretty easily.
Microclimates definitely came into play to help keep individual rooms warm.
Vehicle mobility wise I plan to add a small shovel, maybe some tire chains, and eventually a bag of sand or cat litter for traction and weight along with a couple of yaktrax or similar traction boards.
There was a very real possibility I would be called to help several friends in the area and luckily was not as I would likely have gotten stuck fairly quickly.
 

ProfDecoy

Amateur
I'll be buying a 4WD truck more capable of dealing with these adverse conditions.
2wd diesel ain't cutting it.
So as someone in New England who gets this kind of weather on a regular basis, 2WD/4WD/AWD isn't the whole story. Your selection of tires plays into this as well.

A 2WD car with studded snow tires (which you would only need once a decade there in TX), can do just as good or even better in the snow as a 4WD SUV/Truck with All-Season tires. The number of trucks and SUVs off the side of the highways after a good snow up here can attest to that.

So don't forget about your choice of tires in your research as well, as on pure ice many tires, unless they're studded or with chains, are going to do poorly.
 

MynameisDat

Amateur
So as someone in New England who gets this kind of weather on a regular basis, 2WD/4WD/AWD isn't the whole story. Your selection of tires plays into this as well.

A 2WD car with studded snow tires (which you would only need once a decade there in TX), can do just as good or even better in the snow as a 4WD SUV/Truck with All-Season tires. The number of trucks and SUVs off the side of the highways after a good snow up here can attest to that.

So don't forget about your choice of tires in your research as well, as on pure ice many tires, unless they're studded or with chains, are going to do poorly.
So, I actually have chains and put them on as soon as first snow started coming down. Even with those, I was seriously undergunned. My truck is just too heavy with not evenly distributed weight to be useful in snow/ice.
 
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