Reliably Austin
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Austin is giving away free winter prep kits this week

Ice accumulated on cactus and other plants in south Austin during a winter storm in early February.
Gabriel C. Pérez
Ice blankets Austin during a winter storm in February 2021.

Lee esta historia en español

Austin's utility companies and the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management will distribute free winter-weather supply kits this week at customer service centers.

The kits include water meter keys, styrofoam hose covers, hand-crank flashlights, first-aid supplies and winter weather tip sheets.

Austin Water's public information manager, Ginny Guerrero, said there are hundreds of kits available at each of the three customer service locations.

“We're asking folks to be patient and take just one kit per resident, so we can make sure that everyone has a chance and opportunity to get those,” she said. “If you don't make it out or can't get those from us, you can make your own with the tips we have.”

The kits will be given away from 8 a.m. until supplies run out at the customer service sites:

  • Tuesday at 8716 Research Blvd. (North)
  • Wednesday at 2800 Webberville Road (East)
  • Thursday at 1901 W. William Cannon Dr., Suite 100 (South)

Luis Rivas, the public information officer for Austin Energy, said the kit-distribution program started in November.

"We had such a huge participation from customers and the general public that we ran out of materials pretty quick," Rivas said. "We decided to have another series of events so that more customers can have access to these kits and information on how to prepare for any winter weather that may be coming up."

Find tips to make your own emergency kits here. Look through this guidefor general necessities and this guide for winter preparedness. Sign up for weather and emergency texts or call alerts here.

Guerrero said the past two Februarys saw freezing temperatures that ruptured pipes. She hopes Austinites will be better prepared in the future.

“While we don't know what this February holds for us," Guerrero said, "we just are encouraging folks to be really as prepared as they can be so that should we find ourselves with that cold and nasty weather again, everyone has a plan."

If you found this reporting valuable, please consider making a donation to support it. Your gift pays for everything you find on Thanks for donating today.

Laura Morales is a part-time general assignment reporter. She has reported in Texas for five years with several publications including the Texas Observer, the Austin American-Statesman and the San Antonio Report.
Related Content