Deputy city manager details what the City of San Antonio learned from last year’s freeze

Deputy City Manager Maria Villagomez joined Leading SA on Sunday

Although this year’s winter weather hasn’t been near as impactful as last year’s, San Antonio officials aren’t hesitating when it comes to preparedness.

Deputy City Manager Maria Villagomez joined Leading SA on Sunday to discuss what local leaders learned from last year’s freeze and what goes into the decision-making process.

“Well, we learned a lot. You know, one of the areas that we focused on was communication and not just communication internally within the city, but also with the utilities and most importantly, the communication to our community. I think from a resident’s perspective, when there’s a weather event like the one we had in February of last year or the event that we had last week, they expect to see a united front where the city, the utilities, the county and other agencies that respond to an emergency like that,” Villagomez said.

Villagomez said it’s not just communication between the city and its agencies that goes into winter weather preparedness -- it’s also coordination.

“We work closely with SAWS, CPS and the county pretty much on a daily basis because of the services that we provide to the community. In the case of an emergency, that collaboration is key. We the city cannot provide those services to the community. We are not collaborating and knowing what’s going on at CPS, at SAWS and the county as well. To your point, CPS is our main liaison with ERCOT and they keep us abreast of any, any areas that we should be aware of. Again, with the goal of providing those critical services to our community and again showing that collaboration within the different entities here in San Antonio,” Villagomez said.

Aside from the city taking steps to prepare for incoming winter weather, Villagomez said there are a few things you can do at home as well.

“So one of the things that we have done as a city working with SAWS and CPS, our residents can visit our websites and you’ll find a lot of resources on how to prepare today. So don’t wait until there’s an event or two days prior to the event. But being aware of why are those things that you can have at home an emergency kit, a family communication plan, what would you do if an event happens? Who would your children call? Who would you call if you need assistance? Also, very critical, are there vulnerable members of your family? Also, to ensure that they register with the city and the utilities so we can provide those critical services to them,” Villagomez said.

You can watch the full interview with Villagomez in the video player above.

About the Author:

Max Massey is the GMSA weekend anchor and a general assignments reporter. Max has been live at some of the biggest national stories out of Texas in recent years, including the Sutherland Springs shooting, Hurricane Harvey and the manhunt for the Austin bomber. Outside of work, Max follows politics and sports, especially Penn State, his alma mater.