Coordinated Winter Weather Response Plan and Tips

Published on January 11, 2024

City of San Antonio and Utility Logos  

City of San Antonio, Bexar County, CPS Energy, SAWS and VIA share coordinated winter weather response plan and tips

SAN ANTONIO (January 11, 2024) – The National Weather Service (NWS) is forecasting the coldest air of the Winter season to arrive in San Antonio and the surrounding area this weekend. Tonight’s cold front is expected to bring extremely high winds to the city. Wind gusts could top 55 miles per hour and are expected through midday Friday. Temperatures are expected to drop to or below freezing Monday through Tuesday.

The City, County and partners strongly urge all residents to prepare for cold weather by remembering the Four Ps: People, Pets, Plants & Pipes


Keep warm and dress in layers. Check on family, friends and neighbors who may be more vulnerable to this week’s cold weather or may not have access to housing and heating, including the elderly and those with special needs.

The San Antonio Fire Department recommends:

  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater. 
  • Install and maintain CO (carbon monoxide) alarms to avoid the risk of CO poisoning.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home. 
  • Never use a generator indoors.
  • Always plug portable heaters directly into a wall socket (no power strips).
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed. 
  • Never leave children unattended in a room with a space heater.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month.

311 Customer Service is open from Monday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and until 11pm for urgent requests. For the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday (Monday, January 15), 311 will operate from 8 a.m. - 5p.m. and until 11 p.m. for urgent requests. Residents may call 311 (210-207-6000) or use the 311 SA mobile app.

Unsheltered Populations

The City of San Antonio’s Department of Human Services is working with nonprofit partners to prepare additional temporary overnight shelter space for the unsheltered population. In addition to expanded capacity at Haven for Hope and Salvation Army, temporary shelter partners include Communities Under the Bridge, Corazon San Antonio, and Sold Out Believers Church. 

Human Services and nonprofit partners began providing outreach this week to known homeless encampments alerting people of impending cold weather. Outreach partners include SAMMinistries, Corazon San Antonio, Catholic Charities, Christian Assistance Ministries, and Haven for Hope. Outreach will continue through the cold weather event and include transportation to shelter as well as cold weather supplies. 

DHS street outreach will operate extended hours on Sunday evening from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Monday and Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The Homeless Connections Hotline (210-207-1799) will also be available during those extended hours to provide up-to-date shelter information and to connect unsheltered individuals to street outreach. Partner coordination and communication is provided by Close to Home, who will also publish resources through the weather event. 

Daytime Warming Centers

The City of San Antonio will open 14 facilities on the MLK Holiday Monday, January 15 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. These facilities include libraries and parks facilities. All the City facilities will resume normal operating hours on Tuesday, January 16th through the rest of the week. The latest information on these locations is available at the SAOEM website.

These locations are used as places for residents to stay warm. Anyone coming to these locations should bring clothes, supplies and medicine. The centers are accessible and inclusive. 

  • Central Library (600 Soledad St., San Antonio, TX 78205)
  • Schaefer Library (6322 US Hwy 87 E., San Antonio, TX 78222)
  • Mission Library (3134 Roosevelt Ave., San Antonio, TX 78214)
  • Cortez Library (2803 Hunter Blvd., San Antonio, TX 78224)
  • Bazan Library (2200 W. Commerce St., San Antonio, TX 78207)
  • Guerra Library (7978 W. Military Dr., San Antonio, TX 78227)
  • Maverick Library (8700 Mystic Park, San Antonio, TX 78254)
  • Igo Library (13330 Kyle Seale Pkwy., San Antonio, TX 78249)
  • Encino Library (2515 E. Evans Rd., San Antonio, TX 78259)
  • Thousand Oaks Library (4618 Thousand Oaks, San Antonio, TX 78233)
  • Tobin Community Center (1900 W. Martin St., San Antonio, TX 78207)
  • Harlandale Community Center (7227 Briar Pl., San Antonio, TX 78221)
  • Cuellar Community Center (5626 San Fernando St., San Antonio, TX 78237)
  • Hamilton Community Center (10700 Nacogdoches Rd., San Antonio, TX 78217)

VIA passengers may travel fare-free to or from these locations. Passengers using VIA bus service or VIA Link should alert the bus operator when boarding; VIAtrans passengers should alert the reservation agent when booking a VIAtrans trip.

Overnight Resiliency Centers

The City will operate six resilience hubs beginning Sunday night at 9 p.m. through Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. These locations are safe, accessible, and equitable facilities where residents can obtain information and resources in times of need. These locations will have access to basic needs/supplies, shelter from the severe cold, access to power & device charging and free wi-fi. Anyone coming to these locations should bring clothes, supplies and medicine.

The six locations are:

  • Normoyle Senior Center (700 Culberson Ave., San Antonio, TX 78225)
  • Northeast Senior Center (4135 Thousand Oaks Dr., San Antonio, TX 78217)
  • Southside Lions Senior Center (3303 Pecan Valley Dr., San Antonio, TX 78210)
  • Garza Community Center (1450 Mira Vista, San Antonio, TX 78228)
  • Copernicus Community Center (5003 Lord Rd., San Antonio, TX 78220)
  • Miller’s Pond Community Center (6175 Old Pearsall Rd., San Antonio, TX 78242)

Kennels will be available in a separate area of these locations for pets.

County Overnight Warming Centers

Bexar County will operate five overnight warming centers beginning Sunday night at 9 p.m. through Wednesday morning at 8 a.m.

  • Lighthouse Church Temple (8201 Old Pearsall Rd., San Antonio, TX 78252)
  • OuterWest Community Church (12280 Alamo Ranch Pkwy., San Antonio, TX 78253)
  • St. Padre Pio Catholic Church (3843 Bulverde Pkwy., San Antonio, TX 78259)
  • Christ the King Lutheran Church (1129 Pat Booker Rd., Universal City, TX 78148)
  • Elmendorf Community Library (203 Bexar Ave., Elmendorf, TX 78112)

For any other updates, you can follow the County’s website.

Rental Property Tips

Landlords are obligated to maintain their rental properties to the minimum standards set by the San Antonio Property Maintenance Code (Sec 6-52). Heating equipment must be able to maintain a minimum inside temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit (measured three feet above the floor). To report suspected violations, call 311 (210-207-6000).


With freezing temperatures expected, it is best to take precautionary steps now to protect your four-legged family members.

  • Bring pets inside. Pets (especially cats) are safer indoors. If you cannot have your pet inside the house, bring them in the garage, purchase an insulated doghouse, or build a protective enclosure that shields them from the elements and gives them a safe, warm place to rest. 
  • Certain pets are more vulnerable to cold temperatures than others. Shorthaired dogs, very young or old dogs, and all cats should not be left outside during winter months. Shorthaired dogs may benefit from a sweater while outside.
  • Pets who spend much of their day outdoors will need some extra food as it gets colder because they use up more energy trying to stay warm. Please make sure your pet is still getting daily exercise if they are prone to weight gain.
  • Always provide fresh, clean water regardless of the season. Check water daily and clean bowls regularly to prevent algae growth. 
  • Be mindful of your pets while preparing your car for winter conditions. Antifreeze is deadly to pets who are attracted to its sweet taste. Store all chemicals out of reach, especially if you are going to bring your pets into the garage on cold nights. 
  • Before heading out to warm up the car, bang on the hood a time or two. A warm engine can be a welcome spot for a cold cat and the noise should scare them away before you start the engine.                                                                                               

State law dictates dogs cannot be tethered with any size chain at any time; it also states dogs cannot be left outdoors restrained and unattended in the case of officially defined extreme weather or situations in which an animal is in severe distress including conditions in which the actual or effective outdoor temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Potential violators can face impoundment of their pet, fines up to $2,000 and 180 days in jail for repeat offenders. To report suspected violations, call 311 (210-207-6000). Before heading out to warm up the car, bang on the hood a time or two. A warm engine can be a welcome spot for a cold cat and the noise should scare them away before you start the engine.                                                                                               


Plants may need to be covered or brought inside to avoid frost damage.


San Antonio Water System (SAWS) reminds residents to prepare for the hard freeze by protecting pipes (YouTube: Video):

  • If you live in a home with pier & beam construction or prefab or mobile home construction, insulate exposed pipes in the crawl space with store bought foam or fiberglass insulation sleeves. Or you can use old rags, bags, and tape to protect your pipes. 
  • If your home has plumbing in cabinets on outside walls without insulation, leave the cabinet doors open to allow warmer indoor air to circulate. 
  • Disconnect anything connected to a hose bib. Also, cover hose bibs and any other exposed pipes with foam insulation and faucet protectors, but even wrapping pipes with rags or newspapers will do. 
  • Turn off irrigation systems at the shut-off valveVideo (In most cases there is no need to drain the system) 
  • During coldest temperatures, allow one internal faucet to slowly drip to keep water moving in your pipes. 
  • Know where your meter cutoff valve is. If pipes freeze, SAWS has created a video on how to turn off water at the meterVideo (English)

SAWS has created a webpage with information in both English and Spanish to prepare for cold weather: (English) or (Spanish). 

CPS Energy

CPS Energy is prepared for winter weather. Facilities are weatherized and crews are on standby. CPS Energy has submitted the required declaration of preparedness for winter weatherization to ERCOT. Weatherization activities are complete to protect critical equipment from freezing temperatures. 

CPS Energy’s demand response program helps maintain grid reliability during times of peak demand. We are expanding this program into the winter season and actively working to increase participants to help maintain grid reliability during winter weather events. Winter preparedness pages are available in both English and Spanish. Customers are encouraged to sign up for Energy Alerts or call 210-353-2222 to provide their emergency contact information for the utility to reach them in the case of an emergency. CPS Energy reminds residents to stay away from downed power lines and report them at 210-353-4357 (HELP). Do NOT attempt to move or drive over the lines.