Wondering how to get help during winter storm 2021? Record low temperatures have wrecked the South and millions are without power, water or essential services. If you’ve been affected, you’re probably wondering where to turn for help… and that’s why we’ve created this list.
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Even if you are not personally affected, please share this list so that we can reach as many people as possible during this difficult time.
Many local, state and nationwide organizations and programs are available to help storm victims in Texas.
211 Hotline is available 24/7 to help you find community resources and warming centers. You can also reach them by calling 877-541-7905. Over 200 warming centers are available across Texas, and this is the easiest and fastest way to find yours.
The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies serves disabled people, their families and others who are seeking disaster-related assistance. You can reach them by emailing email@example.com or by calling 800-626-4959.
Food assistance is available. Feeding Texas offers information about local food banks on their website. However, it does not appear to be updated with any disaster information. Organizations like Mutual Aid Houston, Austin Mutual Aid, Feed the People Dallas and others may have more up-to-date information.
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Free water is available from Natural Grocers. This company will be providing two gallons of free filtered water per person through February 23rd. You will need to bring your own containers or buy containers in the store. There are locations across Texas, including in Abilene, Amarillo, Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Denton, Fort Worth, Hurst, Keller, Longview, Lubbock, Midland, San Antonio, Temple, Tyler and Witchita Falls.
Home repair grants may be able to help with repairs after the natural disaster. Get a full list of Texas home repair grant programs here.
Insurance companies should be contacted immediately if you have either homeowners or renter’s insurance AND your property has been damaged by the storm. If you are renting, you should also read this pamphlet from Texas Rio Grand Legal Aid. If you have experienced damage, you are also encouraged to report it to the state using this online form.
Disaster assistance may also become available. The best way to track this is to periodically check disasterassistance.gov for details.
Austin has also opened warming centers.
CapMetro is operating on a very limited basis and has suspended fares through Sunday (February 21st). Those who are vulnerable and need transportation to a warming shelter can call 311 for assistance.
Free meals may be available from certain Austin restaurants. Good Work austin is working to get free meals to people in need. The Austin American Stateman is maintaining an updated list of participating restaurants, which currently includes the Buenos Aires Cafe, Chi’lantro, China Harbor, Old Thousand, La Pera, Phonatic, Saigon le Vendeur, Schlotzky’s Northcross, Tacodeli, Thai Fresh and more.
Free water is available from various places throughout Austin, including the St. Elmo Brewing Co, Batch, Meanwhile Brewing, Black Star Co-Op, Simply Rain Water and more. Details of these distributions can be found at Austin360.com.
Dallas-Fort Worth Area
Warming centers are available, including the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center (Dallas) and the Fort Worth Convention Center. They have also made buses with charging stations available as warming centers. Another list of centers can be found here.
Gozova, a Fort Worth based moving company, is offering free firewood delivery to anyone in need within the DFW Metroplex. Priority is given to those without power, who cannot travel to pick up their own supplies.
Tarrant Area Food Bank will be distributing food throughout the weekend at Herman Clark Stadium:
- Friday, Feb. 19: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Herman Clark Stadium at 5201 CA Roberson Blvd in Fort Worth
- Saturday, Feb. 20: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Herman Clark Stadium
- Monday, Feb. 22: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Herman Clark Stadium
Plano is offering free bottled water between 11am and 7pm at Grace Church Plano for anyone who has had their water shut off due to broken pipes. There is a limit of 12 free bottles per household.
Free bottled water is available throughout the city. Mayor Turner has ordered water to be distributed through city council member district offices, so contact your council member here for more information or look here for distribution sites.
If you are disabled and need water, you can ask for water to be delivered to your home through this website. If you prefer, you can call 832-394-0814 between 8am and 5pm to register.
The sheriff’s office is also reaching out to homeless people to help them get to warming centers. Coats, blankets, tents and other supplies are being distributed by the sheriff’s office to those who are not in a warming center. You can reach them at 713-211-6000 or 311 for information about shelter, transportation or assistance.
Rio Grande Valley Area
Warming centers and shelters have been made available.
The Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley is coordinating food bank referrals, so call 956-682-8101 (option 2) for assistance.
Free meals are also available from certain restaurants, businesses and neighborhood programs. This updated list by Valley Central shows where and when you can get free hot meals.
San Antonio Area
Homeless people in San Antonio can reach out to the homeless hotline at 210-207-1799 for assistance between 8am and 7pm. The homeless hotline can also be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Warming centers are available throughout West Texas. Check this list.