Winter Tips

Prepare Your Home

  • Insulate all water lines along the exterior of your home to protect your water supply from freezing
  • Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows
  • Insulated walls and attic keep your home warmer longer
  • Repair any roof leaks
  • Cut back tree branches that could fall on your home or other structure during a storm
  • Have your chimney inspected each year before using is for the first time in the beginning of the season
  • Plug in a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector inside your home
  • Be sure your smoke detector has batteries and is working
  • Keep a fire extinguisher (or multiple) easily accessible in your home
  • All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside
  • Each winter season have your furnace system and vent checked by a qualified technician to ensure they are functioning properly
  • Lay out salt or sand on your driveway to prevent ice coverage

Tree Trimming

Winter in South Texas can bring unpredictable weather events such as snow, ice, heavy winds, and much more. During severe weather, tree limbs can become weak, causing an electrical outage or damage to a home.

SMTX Utilities contracts with a vegetation management company to assist with tree trimming in different zones of San Marcos within a 5-year period to ensure utility lines remain safe from falling tree limbs. Crews are currently finishing up work in Zone 3 and will move to Zone 4 soon. Homes not located in the zone crews are currently working in, residents are responsible for maintaining overgrown trees located on their property. Click here to learn more about SMTX Utilities Tree Trimming Program.

Prepare Your Car

  • Be sure your car is up to date on all required maintenance service needed
  • Have the radiator system serviced or check the antifreeze level yourself with an antifreeze tester
  • Replace windshield-wiper fluid with a wintertime mixture
  • Make sure the tires on your car have adequate tread and air pressure
  • Replace any worn tires and fill low tires with air to the proper pressure recommended for your car (typically between 30-35 psi)
  • Keep the gas tank near full to help avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines
  • Be sure to check the following: heater, defroster, brakes, brake fluid, ignition, emergency flashers, exhaust, oil, and battery.

Emergency Car Kit

In the event you become stranded in your car, away from home, keep an emergency supply kit in your car with the following extra items: 

  • Jumper cables
  • Flares or other reflectors
  • Windshield scraper
  • Car cell phone charger
  • Blanket, hats, coats, mittens, and blankets
  • Map
  • Cat litter or sand for better tire traction and to melt ice
  • Cell phone, portable charger, and extra batteries
  • Shovel
  • Battery-powered radio with extra batteries
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Water and snack food
  • First aid kit with any necessary medications
  • Pocket knife
  • Tow chains or rope
  • Tire chains
  • Canned compressed air with sealant for emergency tire repair
  • Waterproof matches and a can to melt snow for water