Action-Oriented Ways to Prepare for Winter Weather

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While Explore Austin is no expert on the weather, we do have some experience with planning for all the possible scenarios. Just as we teach our Explorers to be resilient and adaptable while outdoor adventuring, we encourage you to think about how you can prepare for upcoming winter storms in the Austin-area. Don’t be caught off guard, check out our top tips for preparing for extreme winter weather

1. Stock up on the essentials 

Before winter weather hits, you should ensure you have the following available:

  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Extra prescription medicine, baby items such as diapers and formula, and food and water such as dried fruit, nuts, granola bars and other food requiring no cooking or refrigeration.
  • First-aid supplies
  • Emergency heat source: fireplace, wood stove or space heater properly ventilated to prevent a fire. Keep grills, camp stoves, and generators out of the house, basement and garage.
  • Fire extinguisher, smoke alarm; test smoke alarms monthly to ensure they work properly. Home fires are common each winter when trying to stay warm. Review ways to keep your home and loved ones safe.
  • Extra pet food and warm shelter for pets

2. Prepare your home

 It’s not enough to just have supplies on hand — you should also make sure your home is prepared and outfitted to withstand the extreme cold. Some things to consider are: 

  • Insulate pipes and cover outside hoses 
  • Fill bathtubs with water for drinking and flushing toilets
  • Drain and turn off all outside faucets
  • Locate your main water valve, so you can easily shut off water in case a pipe burst
  • Check your carbon monoxide detectors and make sure they contain fresh batteries

3. Charge your devices 

 Make sure your smartphone, tablets and laptops are fully charged in case of an emergency or evacuation. Charge your power banks and portable chargers. Bring a surge protector with multiple outlets, along with all your cables, if you head to a shelter. 

4. Know your neighbors

The Federal Emergency Management Agency places tremendous emphasis on embracing a local “neighbors helping neighbors” approach. That means getting to know those around you and those who might need additional help or support before, during or after a disaster. 

5. Know where to get information: 

Download the Ready Central Texas mobile app to learn more about how to be emergency prepared and safety aware.

Sign up for Emergency Alerts at

More resources for preparing for a winter storm: 

Planning ahead and preparing for disasters in advance can have a big impact on your safety and recovery in a crisis. A good rule is to have critical supplies and resources you need to be self-sufficient for seven days.

Así como enseñamos a nuestros Exploradores a ser resistentes y adaptables durante las aventuras al aire libre, lo alentamos a que piense en cómo puede prepararse para las próximas tormentas de invierno en el área de Austin. No se deje atrapar con la guardia baja, consulte nuestros mejores consejos para prepararse para el clima invernal extremo

1. Abastecerse de lo esencial

  • Antes de que llegue el clima invernal, debe asegurarse de tener lo siguiente disponible:
  •  Linterna y pilas extra
  • Medicamentos recetados adicionales, artículos para bebés, como pañales y fórmula, y alimentos y agua, como frutas secas, nueces, barras de granola y otros alimentos que no requieran cocción ni refrigeración.
  • Suministros de primeros auxilios
  • Fuente de calor de emergencia: chimenea, estufa de leña o calentador de espacio ventilado adecuadamente para evitar un incendio. Mantenga las parrillas, las estufas de campamento y los generadores fuera de la casa, el sótano y el garaje.
  • Extintor de incendios, detector de humo; pruebe las alarmas de humo mensualmente para asegurarse de que funcionen correctamente. Los incendios domésticos son comunes cada invierno cuando se trata de mantenerse caliente. Revise las formas de mantener seguros su hogar y sus seres queridos.
  • Comida adicional para mascotas y refugio cálido para mascotas

2. Prepara su casa

 No es suficiente tener suministros a mano, también debe asegurarse de que su hogar esté preparado y equipado para soportar el frío extremo. Algunas cosas para considerar son:

  • Aísle las tuberías y cubra las mangueras exteriores.
  •  Llene las bañeras con agua para beber y descargar los inodoros.
  • Drene y cierre todos los grifos exteriores
  • Ubique su válvula de agua principal, para que pueda cerrar fácilmente el agua en caso de que se rompa una tubería
  • Revise sus detectores de monóxido de carbono y asegúrese de que tengan baterías nuevas

3. Carga tus electrónicas

 Asegúrese de que su teléfono inteligente, tabletas y computadoras portátiles estén completamente cargados en caso de emergencia o evacuación. Cargue sus bancos de energía y cargadores portátiles. Traiga un protector contra sobretensiones con múltiples salidas, junto con todos sus cables, si se dirige a un refugio.

4. Conoce a tus vecinos

La Agencia Federal para el Manejo de Emergencias pone un gran énfasis en adoptar un enfoque local de “vecinos que ayudan a los vecinos”. Eso significa conocer a quienes lo rodean y a quienes podrían necesitar ayuda o apoyo adicional antes, durante o después de un desastre.

5. Sepa dónde obtener información:

Descargue la aplicación móvil Ready Central Texas para obtener más información sobre cómo estar preparado para emergencias y ser consciente de la seguridad.

  • Regístrese para recibir alertas de emergencia en
  • Más recursos para prepararse para una tormenta de invierno:

Planificar con anticipación y prepararse para los desastres puede tener un gran impacto en su seguridad y recuperación en una crisis. Una buena regla es tener suministros y recursos críticos que necesita para ser autosuficiente durante siete días.

Courageous in Play Helps Children Develop into Confident Adults

Psssst! Can we share a secret? Explore Austin encourages confident play in the outdoors. Yep, you read that correctly. We don’t play it safe when it comes to our Explorers and we think our program is better for it. Let us tell you why.

Courageous play, sometimes called ‘Risky Play’ occurs when children intentionally seek exhilarating and scary physical play situations that allow them to gain mastery over their fears. As research mounts on the importance of risky play for children’s health, development and well-being, there is increasing recognition regarding the need for action to create supportive environments for play. Risky play can have wide-reaching benefits for children’s health, development, mental health, and well-being. Driven by curiosity and excitement seeking, they learn about their environment, what it affords, how far they can push it and their own body, and how to manage the risks they encounter.

At Explore Austin our primary focus is encouraging Explorers to try hard things. Many of our participants have never gone canoeing, rock-climbed, explored a cave, or seen snow. Part of the program is teaching our Explorers and mentors alike, how to exist within some inevitable discomfort. This builds resiliency and strong bonds within the teams and prepares them for their future trips that will be more difficult, longer, and further away from home. The nature of Explore Austin’s program encourages ambiguity and decision-making on the fly. This stretches the muscles necessary to help youth feel confident in uncertain or ‘risky’ situations in the future.

Angela J. Hanscom, pediatric occupational therapist and author of “Balanced and Barefoot”, reminds us of the challenges and instinctual solutions that children are facing: an ever-growing focus on quantity and quality of academic work, and a lessening outdoor recreation. She encapsulates the importance of childhood play to developing one’s physical senses and resiliency.

Formulating a curriculum based on mentorship and the development of transferable skills (Action-oriented, Courageous, Excellent Teammate, Strong Communicator), Explore Austin challenges youth to push the limits of what they believe they are capable of achieving. Through activities like mountaineering, backpacking, rock climbing, long-distance canoeing, and mountain biking, the Explore Austin program demonstrates the developmental potential that stems from allowing youth to try (and, yes, sometimes fail) in a safe, team-oriented environment.