City of San Antonio prepares for freezing temps, urges residents to take precautions

The city says to follow the four Ps—people, pets, plants, and pipes

Water faucet. (Photo by Nithin PA from Pexels)

SAN ANTONIO – As the city of San Antonio reached freezing temperatures on Monday, officials asked residents to take precautions.

City officials said you should follow the four Ps—people, pets, plants, and pipes and be extra careful when traveling on roadways.

People

City officials said residents can prepare themselves by staying warm and dressing in layers. Check on your elderly family and neighbors to ensure they have access to heat and warm clothing.

The city’s Department of Human Services said they have been working with nonprofit organizations to prepare overnight shelters and meals for those experiencing homelessness.

Nonprofit workers began outreach to known homeless encampments on Wednesday. Officials said they are continuing to provide information and transportation to shelters as well as handing out cold-weather supplies.

District one city councilman Mario Bravo was getting things like coats, scarves, hats, and blankets ready.

”This was all scheduled for delivery for about a week from now but we’ve got a freeze that’s coming in tonight and a deep freeze, a long freeze, tomorrow so we’re trying to help distribute them as fast as we can,” Bravo said.

Those supplies were collected in partnership with Roy Maas Youth Alternatives Agency and Corazon Ministries.

“We need to start distributing them now, but then we need to let people know tomorrows going to be even worse,” Bravo explained.

An emergency warming center is opening today at Church Under The Bridge. The doors opened from 7:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

In the main sanctuary, 40 sleeping bags are set up. According to Dianne Talbert, the executive director, they normally can fit 90 beds, but COVID protocols are preventing that.

Their plans to open a warming shelter tonight for the homeless were made quickly when Talbert saw the temperatures were expected to dip into the 30′s.

“We may not have as much of a response today as we will tomorrow but for the people that do know that they want to get out of the cold, we want to be available to them,” Talbert said.

The emergency warming shelter at The Church Under The Bridge will open again tomorrow, so will the warming shelter at Life Restored Church.

City officials say Travis Park Church will be open during the day Sunday for warming, meals and services. Corazon Ministries will be open all day Monday.

The Restoring Church located at 5212 Heath Road will provide shelter overnight for anyone in need. They also will provide food and drinks.

The city will provide a homeless connections hotline Sunday for those looking to help individuals connect with assistance during cold weather. The homeless connections hotline number is 210-208-1799.

Pets

Pets should be brought inside, away from the cold. If a resident cannot bring in their pet, you should purchase an insulated and protective enclosure that will provide them with a safe and warm place to stay.

Officials said that shorthaired dogs or dogs that are very young or old, and cats should not be left outside during the winter. As an extra precaution, officials recommend shorthaired dogs wear a sweater while outside.

The city recommends everyone to bang on their car hood once or twice before warming up their car. Cats can crawl into the warm engines and the noise should scare away the cats before you start the engine, officials say. Anti-freeze should also be put out of reach from pets as they are attracted to the sweet taste.

If you notice a pet outside without proper care or in need of shelter, the city asks that you call 3-1-1 or visit saacs.info/311. Animal Care Services officers will be practicing zero tolerance and will cite for violations.

Plants

City officials recommend that potted plants be brought inside to protect them from dying. If you have outdoor plants you want to protect, they should be covered with a cloth fabric.

Pipes

Residents can protect their pipes from freezing by covering all outdoor pipes. City officials recommend that you also allow your faucets to slowly drip to prevent them from freezing as well.

Roads and Traffic

San Antonio police and the Public Works departments say they are prepared to activate the city’s ice plan if precipitation occurs. Public Works said they have crews on-call if traffic equipment malfunctions due to wind conditions.

You can also keep up with current traffic conditions and road delays on KSAT’s traffic page.

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The city is also working with CPS Energy and the San Antonio Water System to coordinate preparedness plans.

You can reach the city’s customer service line at 3-1-1. The service line hours will remain open Sunday from 8 a.m. until midnight.

In the event of power outages or severe weather conditions, KSAT will bring you latest on air and on our website.


About the Author:

Emily Martin is a digital producer trainee at KSAT. She earned a journalism degree from Texas State University, where she was news director at KTSW, the campus radio station. She has also interned at KXAN and KUT in Austin.