As the city of Houston prepares to experience a heavy drop in temperatures over the next few days, I want to remind everyone to take steps ahead of time to protect yourselves, your families, pets, plants and homes. Below are tips from Houston Public Works to help you get ready for severe weather.

Before Freezing Weather

  • Wrap exposed pipes located outside or in unheated areas of the home
  • Remove garden hoses connected to outside faucets
  • Turn off sprinkler systems or make sure they are not broken 
  • Shut off sprinkler systems before cold weather to prevent slick roads (and broken pipes).

In Freezing Weather

  • Open cabinet doors under sinks next to outside walls
  • In unheated garages, shut off water to washing machines
  • Take extra precautions to protect pipes that have frozen in the past 

Not Going to Be Home?

  • Drain outside water faucets or leave home heating system on low

In addition, Mayor Sylvester Turner has asked the Office of Emergency Management to open five warming centers in preparation for freezing temperatures expected to arrive in Houston Thursday afternoon. Each center will offer chairs, blankets, water, MREs, PPE, and comfort kits. Because the City is not opening shelters, sleeping cots and hot meals will not be provided. Individuals may come and go as needed.

Individuals in need of transportation may call 311.

The following locations will open beginning Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022 at 3 p.m.

Fonde Community Center, 110 Sabine St, Houston, TX 77007

Moody Community Center, 3725 Fulton St, Houston, TX 77009

Acres Homes MSC, 6719 W Montgomery Rd, Houston, TX 77091

George R. Brown Convention Center, Hall B 1001 Avenida De Las Americas

The American Red Cross will work in partnership with the City to provide volunteers to staff the warming centers and to distribute blankets and comfort kits to individuals.

The city is not encouraging individuals to bring pets However, BARC will provide kennels at the Fonde Center and GRB. Service animals will be welcomed at all locations. 

The Houston Police Department and homeless outreach teams from various, partner agencies of The Way Home (the Houston region’s homeless response system) will notify individuals experiencing homelessness of the impending freeze and the availability of warming centers.

Together we will!

Edward Pollard