The first Arctic Express is coming. Beginning Thursday, the whole state of Texas is going to feel the chills, normally reserved for Amarillo and points north.  Lows could reach 10 above in San Angelo.

This is nowhere near the coldest temperature ever recorded in San Angelo of -4 F which happened December 23rd, 1989.  Still cold enough to do some serious damage to pipes. Plus, we still don't know whether our fragile Texas power grid can take the strain.

Experts say despite some new regulators and a few new statutes, the Texas grid is just as vulnerable to the threat of another major winter blast as it was when it last failed in February 2021.

Photo: NWS Fort Worth
Photo: NWS Fort Worth

Should the power go out, there are some survival tips.

First, staying warm will be a challenge. If you have no heat source, block any openings around doors and windows. Gather in one room if you can and settle into blankets, pillows, and everything cozy that you have.  If you don't have carpet, use towels or a blanket under you and over you.

Discover the art of snuggling. Three kids or two adults per blanked works.  Pets count as kids.

Cold home, freezing family, mother and son, Wrapped In Blanket Sitting Near Heater

Lock your windows.  Window locks press the window into the frame and make sure no cold air gets through.

Keep your core warm.  If you have a hot drink, hold it against your heart. If you have a multi-story house expect the upper floors to be warmest.

Remember, to keep generators far from the house, so you don't get carbon monoxide poisoning. Do not use generators camp stoves, charcoal grills, gas grills, or similar appliances inside the house.

Try to put food from your fridge in a cooler, so you aren't opening the fridge and letting the cold air out. During the blackout in February 2021, it got so cold inside many houses that opening the fridge cooled it down.

As for food, you will want to stock up on canned food and dry goods that don't need cooking. There are also MREs available at Walmart and online at the MRE Depot. Unfortunately, the prices are high,  and even our friends in the military say they are not always the best.


If you have a gas or charcoal grill, fire it up and have a cookout.  You can eat hamburgers, chicken, veggies, and even cut-up potatoes, and add olive oil and salt. It is always a good idea to keep extra gas or charcoal available, even in the winter, just in case.

Camping stoves also work.  If you have a small camping stove that runs on gas or a little backpacking camping stove, don't forget about it if the power should go off.

Here's another cooking method I would never have believed. You can turn a can of tuna in oil into a long-lasting burner.  According to here are the directions:

Photo: Bushcraft Baking via YouTube
Photo: Bushcraft Baking via YouTube

Here is how it works.

  1. Open a can of tuna in oil. It would work with something else oily too.
  2. Take 3 pieces of toilet paper and place them flat over the tuna. They will absorb the oil. The toilet paper should create an air-tight seal around the lid of the can.
  3. Set the toilet paper on fire.
  4. It will burn for a LONG time (up to 25 minutes)!
  5. Use the flame for cooking food.
  6. The flame will also cook the tuna inside the can. Just remove the toilet paper and enjoy your hot tuna.

There are lots of other methods here:

Ways To Cook Without Power

So, if you're trying to get your surviving without power grocery list together just in case, here are some recommended items.

  • Canned soup
  • Canned beans
  • Minute rice
  • Sliced ham, cheese, or any other meats/cheeses you’d want on a sandwich
  • Chips
  • Salsa
  • Peanut butter & jelly/honey
  • Bananas and fruit you like
  • Milk – regular, almond, coconut, or oat
  • Oatmeal
  • Olives
  • Bread or tortilla wraps
  • Canned chili
  • Hamburger meat and buns
  • Hot dogs and buns
  • Ketchup
  • Chicken for the grill and chicken salad
  • Eggs
  • Tuna
  • Mayo
  • Yogurt
  • Coffee
  • Charcoal
  • Salami or chorizo
  • Pickles
  • Protein bars or granola bars
  • Jerky or meat sticks
  • Raisins, apple sauce pouches
  • Trail mix
  • Aseptic milk boxes- single serving

Feel Free to add your favorites to the list. Also, watch this app or webpage for updates if the power goes out. We'll go on backups and provide the latest information as long as we can including information on local warming centers and more.

In the meantime, let's just hope that our power grid holds this winter and there are no widespread disasters like in February 2021.  In the meantime, it never hurts to be prepared.

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