Canadians Share Winter Tips With Texan Families For Surviving Brutal Cold – HuffPost Canada


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Deadly winter weather in Texas this week continues to leave millions in dire straits, with families in particular struggling to keep warm. Parents and kids have gone days without heat or running water due to outages and burst pipes caused by the unprecedented freeze; with power slowly being restored across the state for some and ongoing water shortages, many families have shared the drastic measures they’ve gone to on Twitter: Desperate parents are burning belongings for warmthAs infrastructure in Texas is not built to handle severe cold — with critics saying this disaster was compounded by a deregulated energy industry (no, not windmills) and oversights by lawmakers — the snow and ice has parents scrambling to heat their homes with anything on-hand. Firewood has become a hot commodity, with many waiting in line for hours or trading wood for bottled water.My friends in Texas waited in line for hours to get firewood so their kids don’t freeze. We need an upgraded energy grid that can handle extreme weather events, which we will absolutely continue to have no matter what politicians think or deny.I love you Texas.— Dani Fernandez (@msdanifernandez) February 16, 2021

At least one Texan child has frozen to death this week: Cristian Pavon, 11, died of hypothermia after his family’s home lost power.Worried moms and dads are making hard choices Since many homes in the southern state aren’t insulated for the freezing cold, some families are huddling in cars or using risky methods to keep homes warm. “I know car­bon monox­ide poisoning, but what else can we do?” said a mom in Austin who tried to heat her home with a gas stove. “Is any­one go­ing to help us? I have a baby in here.”— Shelby Holliday (@shelbyholliday) February 18, 2021

However, these methods aren’t without dangers. Over 450 carbon monoxide-related emergency calls and several fires have endangered lives this week.With at least 49 people dead due to the brutal weather, one child’s death was caused by carbon monoxide poisoning; three children and their grandmother were killed in a house fire on Tuesday, which they started to stay warm.A Houston woman and little girl died from carbon monoxide poisoning this morning after they kept car running in garage to keep warm— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) February 16, 2021

And as father and NBC reporter Mike Hixenbaugh experienced, families with kids in need of urgent medical care during this extreme weather are also undergoing harrowing conditions.Last night, after we’d lost power & my pipes burst, my toddler choked on a peanut in our dark house. We rushed him across town on icy roads for emergency surgery at a hospital that does not have enough water pressure to flush toilets.Texas is a disaster.— Mike Hixenbaugh (@Mike_Hixenbaugh) February 17, 2021

Vulnerable families are being impacted the worst by this weather crisis.It’s day 4 without reliable water or power at S. Texas Family Residential Ctr. Parents & small kids are eating frozen food and forced to ration 1 bottle of water/day. Toilets overflowing. These horrific conditions are further evidence why we must end detention & #FreeThemAll NOW.— Nat (@Gnatatat) February 17, 2021

Canadians have started sharing winter tips with Texan familiesSeeing how bad the situation in Texas is inspired people living in colder climates to share advice for getting through the bitter cold. Ottawa resident Victor Emerson wrote with “great sympathy to readers of the Dallas Morning News, suggesting Texans leave their taps trickling to prevent pipe problems. “Bundle up and stay together; you’re in our thoughts,” Emerson wrote.As large parts of Canada deal with sub-zero seasons regularly, many on Canadian Twitter shared what’s helped them survive northern winters.Take this “old Canadian trucker tip” for making a DIY space heater.hey texas pals, there’s an old canadian trucker tip that if you put multiple lit candles inside of a coffee can it becomes a pseudo space heater. its not the best solution but if you have no power this could keep a room livable. good luck y’all i love you— kitty (@trashwitch2000) February 16, 2021

The flower pot equivalent has also been shared widely, which survivalist experts have noted offers limited heat and needs to be closely watched, but works in a pinch.People also chimed in with advice for Texans who drive. For the basic heating kit, Consumer Affairs advises adding a fireproof metal can for safety and warm clothes.Hey TEXAS! Carry thick candles in ur glovebox with matches. If you get snowed into ur car it’ll save ur life. Old Canadian winter trick. Much love and stay strong.— Zack Ward (@TotalZackWard) February 16, 2021

Greetings from Canada! Lots of good advice in the thread, but here’s one I haven’t seen yet: If your town/city has those textured metal plates at the curb cuts, be *verycareful on them. They can get extremely slippery when there’s snow, ice, or slush on them!— AutisticMom (@AHill4168) February 16, 2021

Keeping pets warm with socks and blankets was a common tip. A Canadian reptile owner wrote an extensive thread with tips specifically for Texans with lizards and snakes; their praise of hand warmers and blankets was echoed by veterinarian health blog PetCoach. Hey Texas friends! As a Canadian I’m a pro at handling blackouts in winter with reptiles, so here’s a helpful thread on how to keep your cold blooded friends warm, this pic is from our power outage a few days ago.— fleets (@fleetseasyrider) February 16, 2021

There were plenty of empathic well-wishes of “Canadian warmth” towards U.S. southerners coping with the unexpected.Yeah. Texas needs some love for sure. Sending some Canadian warmth to our friends in the Lone Star state.— JoshWest247 ⚡️ (@JoshWest247) February 16, 2021 All of you in Texas going through it right now bundle up, cuddle each other and stay warm…. Canadians with tips to help these folks out are welcome. Sending WARMTH.— Erin Fitzgerald 🖤Black Lives Matter (@ErinFitzgerald) February 15, 2021

One pro at getting through Canadian winter even dispelled advice that wasn’t helpful.seeing a lot of people sharing “how 2 keep warm during weather event” guides and as someone who survived an entire canadian winter in a drafty, seaweed-insulated victorian home that had literally no furnace and no central heating: some of that advice ain’t so great!— chotto uno minuto (@lovestoned) February 16, 2021

lots of it is very camping-adjacent which is pertinent if you’re living outdoors, but not so practical in a building! some helpful advice: it’s actually better to be slightly cold than toasty warm. don’t throw all your clothes on in one go.— chotto uno minuto (@lovestoned) February 16, 2021

when trying to warm up go from inside -> out. hot food and drinks, then worry about pulling on more clothing if you need it.wear hats that cover your ears, esp at night! you lose a lot of heat through your head, and severe cold can fuck with your inner ear.— chotto uno minuto (@lovestoned) February 16, 2021

Still, the outpouring of Canadian support have also caused people to point out the miserable housing conditions being shared are everyday realities for many Indigenous communities.I just wish all the Canadians who are pouring their hearts out for people in Texas, would give a fuck about all of the Indigenous communities that have been on water-boil advisories longer than I’ve been alive— Dylan 🚩 (@d_ylan7) February 19, 2021

How Canadians can support Texan families from afarAs all this unfolds during the COVID-19 pandemic, the spirit of mutual aid is needed more than ever. Charities, food bank drives, and aid campaigns have stepped forward to help families survive these dangerous times, including help from national organizations, according to CNN.🚨 Activating for Texas Freeze 🚨We are active at you or your family are facing dangerous temperatures, please reach out. We are attempting to warm vulnerable seniors with space heaters / generators. ALWAYS CALL 911 in an emergency.— CrowdSource Rescue (@cs_rescue) February 16, 2021

THREAD: PLACES IN #HOUSTON OFFERING FOOD FOR THOSE IN NEED: – if you are a restaurant offering free food in Houston, please DM us or reply to this tweet- we will delete tweets as restaurants run out of food!- please call before you leave to confirm food is available— Mutual Aid Houston (@mutualaidhou) February 18, 2021

❄️⚡Texas food banks need your help during this extreme winter weather event and energy crisis. Our network is supporting warming shelters, experiencing supply chain disruptions and losing food due to outages. Donate NOW to help feed your neighbors in need!— Feeding Texas (@FeedingTexas) February 17, 2021

ID: Pls Boost! These folks in San Marcos have been working so hard to get people sheltered, but now they need your $$$. HOME Center needs $20k in order to pay for the 150 hotel rooms we have put our unhoused neighbors in!(continued)— The TIPI Group (@IndigenousTexas) February 19, 2021

Romper reports the American Red Cross has also begun disaster relief, which families will hopefully benefit from soon. Also on HuffPost:
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