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Cold Weather Expected. Are You Ready?

Preventing Hypothermia

The Houston Health Department (HHD) advises residents to take steps to avoid exposure to cold weather.  This includes:

Signs of hypothermia include:

If these symptoms occur, check the persons temperature.  If it is below 95°F, this is an emergency, you need to call 9-1-1. 

If medical care is not available, begin warming the person, as follows:

Additionally, the City is asking residents to check in with those who might be more vulnerable to cold temperatures, such as friends, family and neighbors who are elderly or  have a disability. 

 

Heater Safety & Carbon Monoxide Safety

Heating Safety

The Houston Fire Department (HFD) recommends the following safety tips when using supplemental heating sources:

 

Carbon Monoxide Safety

Additionally, HFD reminds residents about the dangers of Carbon Monoxide when using heating devices:

 

Maintaining Proper Heating and Hot Water in Buildings

The Public Works & Engineering Department (PW&E), which is responsible for multi-family building inspections, reminds landlords and property owners about the basic requirements for heating and hot water supply to their properties.

Landlords are obligated to maintain their rental properties to the minimum standards set by the City of Houston Code of Ordinances (Sec. 10-363). Heating equipment must be able to maintain a minimum inside temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit (measured three feet above the floor) when it is 20 degrees Fahrenheit outside.

In each non-vacant dwelling unit and congregate living facility, provide and maintain in good operating condition a device to supply hot water at a minimum temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

To report suspected violations, call 3-1-1 (713.837.0311).

Homeless Outreach

Various agencies, including the Houston Police Department (HPD) Homeless Outreach Team, will be checking in with the local homeless population in an effort to help them stay safe and warm. They also work with homeless individuals to connect them with shelters and other available services.  

Houston residents interested in helping the homeless population during periods of cold weather are encouraged to seek out a non-profit agency that routinely works with the homeless population and knows their needs to make a monetary, or in-kind donation (such as blankets, gloves, gently-worn coats). 

The Houston Coalition for the Homeless maintains a list of agencies that provide direct services to people who are homeless. For more information visit homelesshouston.org.

 

Utility Assistance

Houston residents who live in Harris County may be eligible for financial assistance if they have difficulty paying electric or gas bills.  This program, managed by Neighborhood Centers, Inc., has specific requirements that must be met before residents are eligible for help.  For more information, or to sign up, call 2-1-1 (or 877-541-7905) or visit neighborhood-centers.org.

Staying Informed

The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) reminds residents to stay informed about changing weather conditions.  Weather information is available from the National Weather Service 24 hours a day at weather.gov/houston.  

Additionally, when weather becomes life-threatening, the City will issue an emergency alert through AlertHouston.  To sign up, visit houstontx.gov/emergency

During periods of freezing temperatures, information will be released on OEM Social Media Channels (Twitter - Facebook - Nextdoor) and online at houstontx.gov/emergency.

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Funded by a Grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security