- SMTX Utilities
- Safety and Preparedness Tips
Safety and Preparedness Tips
Spring is here, which means severe weather can arrive at a moment’s notice. Often times when we become aware of an approaching storm, we have little, if any, time to prepare. With spring weather being as unpredictable as it is, it's best to stay prepared for storms, floods, and tornadoes. Stay ahead of unpredictable spring weather with the tips below.
You can also sign up for local alerts and warnings.
Be prepared for inclement weather before it happens. If you don't have an emergency fit already, now is the time to make one. Include the following items in your kit, and keep it stocked, up to date, and in a designated spot that is easily accessible.
- Bottled water
- Nonperishable food
- First-air supplies
- Medications (over-the-counter and prescription)
- Pet supplies
- Battery banks for charging devices
- All-weather radio
- Multipurpose tool
- Hand sanitizer
- A list of important numbers, including your SMTX Utilities account number. Don't forget about the SMTX Utilities outage map where you can report outages and receive outage notifications.
Before A Storm
If forecasts begin to show sever weather coming your way, you may want to have these ready and on-hand in addition to your emergency kit.
- Charged cell phones and extra cords for charging phones, tablets, and other electronic devices
- Extra clothes
- Battery-powered radio
- An additional electrical source, such as a generator
- Extra fuel for vehicles
Prepare Your Home
- Clear your yard of any decorations, potted plants, or debris that could potentially cause damage to your home
- Clean out clogged gutters and downspouts
- Check the weatherstripping on your windows and doors, and seal leaks with caulk or replacement stripping
- Sever storms can cause a branches and trees to fall on power lines, call 512-393-8313 to see if you are in services for the City of San Marcos to trim your tree limbs that may be a hazard
- Develop a plan with your family in case of prolonged outages (where and when to seek shelter if needed)
During A Storm
- Our updated outage map allows utility customers to search in real time for their address to see if their outage is registered, the status, and the estimated time of restoration is one is available
- SMTX Utilities will provide updates whenever possible on our website and City of San Marcos social media channels, so be sure to like and follow for potential energy conservation, outage, and weather alerts:
Protect Your Home
- Make any necessary repairs to the exterior of your home
- Clear your gutters of any debris to ensure proper drainage
- Keep drapes and blinds closed, except when windows are in direct sunlight
- Remove dead branches that could end up being dangerous projectiles in a severe storm
- If you experience an outage, keep lights and appliances off to avoid overloading circuits when power is restored. Instead, leave only one light on as a signal, so that you know when your power returns
Protect Your Family
- Never run your car in the garage as a way of warming up or cooling down - only run the car outside. Taking these steps could save you and your family from carbon monoxide poisoning
- Never run a generator closer than 20 feet from doors and windows to prevent fumes from entering the home.
- Watch weather reports closely. Keep your all-weather radio nearby and listen to local media reports for the most up-to-date weather and safety information
- Keep a close watch on the temperature in your home and check it often. If outages are prolonged, consider staying with friends, family, or in a local shelter
- Keep these important safety tips in mind when using your generator and always practice safety when using alternative cooling sources
- Bring pets inside your home if there are threats of severe storms headed your way.
- If you are able, check on elderly relatives, neighbors, and friends to make sure they’re safe, especially if they live alone
SMTX Utilities is dedicated to providing reliable electric service to keep you and your family safe. While some events are beyond our control, we work hard to ensure that we are as prepared as possible.
Power Outage Tips
Power outages or service interruptions can occur for a variety of reasons including weather events like lightning strikes to equipment or wind blowing trees and limbs into power lines, vehicle accidents involving power poles, lines, and equipment, unexpected equipment failure, and animal contacts to lines. Use the following tips during a power outage:
- Keep freezers and refrigerators closed
- Use a generator, but ONLY outdoors and away from windows
- Disconnect appliances and electronics to avoid damage from electrical surges
- If you use medical equipment in your home that requires electricity, talk to your doctor or health care provider about what you may be able to do to keep it running during a power outage. You can also ask your power provider to put you on a list for priority power restoration
- Have alternate plans for refrigerating medicines or using power-dependent medical devices. If you are on dialysis or other life-sustaining medical treatment know the location and availability of more than one facility that can help you
- Check with local officials about heating and cooling locations open near you
- Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40 degrees or higher for two hours or more, or that has an unusual odor, color or texture
- If the power is out for more than a day, discard any medication that should be refrigerated, unless the drug’s label says otherwise