Winter storm Uri has left Texas in a state of crisis. After days of frigid weather, millions were left without heat or electricity as snow, ice, and freezing temperatures “caused a catastrophic failure of the state’s power grid,” according to the Houston Chronicle. As of Tuesday morning, more than 4.2 million customers had lost power, per Vox, all while some Texas cities had temperatures as low as four degrees Fahrenheit. In other areas, people have experienced rolling blackouts, where power is shut off for limited periods of time. Conditions outdoors are also exceptionally dangerous; last Thursday, CNN reported that at least nine people had died in car crashes related to the winter storms across the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
In response, President Joe Biden has declared a state of emergency in Texas, and the National Guard has been deployed to help local authorities get residents to one of 135 warming centers. Activists have also been working around the clock to find food, supplies, and shelter for Texans currently experiencing homelessness. Below, find just a few ways to help those across the state stay warm and housed throughout this storm:
- Austin Mutual Aid is raising fundsto book hotel rooms for residents living outside without water or shelter.
- The Austin Area Urban League is hosting an emergency donation driveto aid in emergency support.
- The Texas-based Ending Community Homelessness Coalition has put together a listof organizations that are currently working to support unsheltered people in Austin and Travis County.
- The Solid Ground Ministry is now servingas a cold weather shelter for families and individuals. You can donate to their operations here.
- The organization Maximizing Hope is raising moneyin order to purchase hotel rooms for people in the Austin area.
- Dallas-area organizations Austin Street Center, OurCalling, The Stewpot, Union Gospel Mission, and Oak Lawn United Methodist Churchare pooling money together to pay for temporary shelter as well as COVID-19 rapid tests for those in need.
- Plus, if you live in Texas and do have power, you can also help your neighbors by trying to conserve electricity as much as possible. Find best practices here.