How to stay warm and safe during a winter storm power outage

More than 3.6 million Texans are without power Tuesday morning due to the winter storm impacting the state.

If you're suffering through an outage as temperatures drop well below freezing, the National Weather Service and CDC have some tips to stay safe and warm during this time.

Power outages: 2.6M Texans without power; check your area as energy conservation urged

2.6 million Texans are without power. CenterPoint Energy's map was temporarily unavailable, while Entergy reported nearly 78,000 customers without power, as of 9:45 a.m. Monday.

ERCOT initiates rotating power outages in Texas

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas entered emergency conditions and initiated rotating outages on Monday morning.


Close blinds or curtains to keep in some heat.

Close off rooms to avoid wasting heat.

Wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing.

Eat and drink. Food provides energy to warm the body. Avoid caffeine and alcohol.

Stuff towels or rags in cracks under the doors.

Use electric space heaters with automatic shut-off switches and non-glowing elements. Make sure to keep them away from any flammable materials, like curtains or blankets.

Use fireplaces, wood stoves, or other combustion heaters only if they are properly vented to the outside and do not leak gas from the flue or exhaust into the indoor air space.

With winter weather approaching, remember the 4 P’s

When winter weather strikes no matter where you are, there are four things that you need to consider and think about before the cold chill hits. 


Fully charge cell phones and other devices in advance. 

Have additional battery packs.

Use battery-powered radio.

Use flashlights instead of candles. If you do use candles, never leave lit candles unattended.

Keep portable generators outside. Never heat your home with a gas stove or oven.

Consider relocating family to a common room.

Generators should be located at least 20 feet from any window, door, or vent and in a space where rain and snow will not reach them.

Protect yourself from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning by installing a battery-operated CO detector.

Never use generators, gas or charcoal grills, camp stoves, or similar devices inside your home, in basements, in garages, or near windows. The fumes are deadly.

If you come across downed power lines, do not approach and do not attempt to cross them.

Winter storm in southeast Texas: What you need to know

A winter storm brought snow, sleet and freezing rain to southeast Texas on Monday morning, with temperatures dipping into the teens and wind chills in the single digits. Here's the latest.