The severe winter storm has left millions without heat, electricity, and running water in Texas.
Although ERCOT officials said Wednesday morning that power was restored to 700,000 households last night, that is a drop in the bucket of the nearly 4 million Texans without power.
Now, for residents that have running water, many local authorities have issued boil water notices.
Have you received a text message about Boil Water Notice (BWN) in your area?
Wednesday morning the City of Houston issued an alert for a boil water notice for main water distribution systems.
Also alerts have been issued in some areas of Central Texas. View the list here.
North Texas cities are asking residents to conserve water use and urging them to boil their water.
Here’s what to do if your city has issued a boil water advisory.
When there is a boil water notice you should use bottled or boiled water for drinking and cooking, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Before using or drinking your tap water, use a saucepan and bring water to a full rolling boil for at least 1 minute.
The CDC recommends to also boil filtered water.
Refrigerator water and ice is also not fit to drink during a boil water notice.
Brush your teeth with cooled boiled water or bottled water, not the tap water. The CDC recommends that residents follow the guidance from local public health officials and if soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
For kids, consider a sponge bath to prevent the chance of them swallowing water. For those with infants, breastfeeding or ready-to-use formula is recommended.
Some tips on staying warm if you are without heat at this time.
The National Weather Service suggests wearing warm clothing and closing your blinds, and shutting doors to close off rooms to avoid wasting hea. Stuff towels or rags in cracks under the doors to keep the heat in. Eat and drink as usual—it warms up the body.
Do not bring a generator inside, it is very dangerous and can cause carbon monoxide poisoning—unfortunately deaths and hospitalizations have occurred during the storm in Texas.
If you use candles, light them carefully and if you leave the room blow out the candles, always practice good fire safety.
As power is gradually restored, here are tips on driving safety on icy roads.