The deadly frigid weather in the South hit Texas hardest. The state’s failure to weather-proof many power generating facilities exacerbated the crisis and led to millions of homes and businesses losing electricity.
In some areas, boil water advisories were in place as the lack of power crippled water plants. It also resulted in burst pipes in many homes.
The bitter cold and lack of power led to an increase in 911 calls and hospitalizations. Many people were treated for exposure to the cold, and others for carbon monoxide poisoning — many used generators or ran their cars to try to stay warm but did it in enclosed places.
How to help Texas residents
- Donate to a mutual aid fund, such as Mutual Aid Houston, Austin Mutual Aid, or Feed the People Dallas. All three groups are working to provide housing, food, and other support systems to those in need.
- Donate to a food bank in Texas. Feeding Texas has a comprehensive list of food banks across the state, searchable by zip code.
- Donate to national organizations, such as the Salvation Army and American Red Cross in North Texas, Central and South Texas, and the Gulf Coast region of Texas.
- Donate to or volunteer with disaster relief organizations like Crowdsource Rescue, which has been activated to help those in Texas.
- Help animals in need by donating to organizations such as Austin Pets Alive!, SPCA of Texas, and Operation Kindness. Note that some facilities, such as Operation Kindness in North Texas, may be impacted by power outages.
- Support local journalists as they respond to the crisis and get the word out by donating to a GoFundMe for the Austin American-Statesman, the Dallas Morning News, and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
- Live in Texas or nearby? Participate in AirBnB’s “Open Homes” program by either opening up your spare space to those in need or by donating. NoirBnB is offering a similar service, asking users to open up their homes if they are able to. NoirBnB can be reached by email via Concierge@noirbnb.com.
Conserve power if you’re in Texas by following this handy guide from the Austin American-Statesman.