At Least 22 Dead, Scores More Injured in Major Texas Winter Storm
The unprecedented cold brought on by Winter storm Uri has led President Biden to declare a major disaster for much of Texas. While property damages are estimated to be in the billions, the real tragedy is the at least 22 people who lost their lives and scores more who were injured as a direct result of the freezing temperatures.
Several of the deaths are linked to hypothermia due to overexposure to cold temperatures. Hypothermia happens with a body loses heat faster than it can produce it. Thus, as a body temperature falls below 95 Fahrenheit, the heart, nervous system, and other organs begin to fail. In Texas last week, people without electricity for extended periods of time faced the very real threat of death or serious injury due to hypothermia.
To make matters worse, several deaths were reported as people tried to stay warm but were killed by fire or carbon monoxide poisoning. The dangerous use of space heaters, vehicle heaters, ovens, candles, and other open flames was used in desperation by people trying to stay warm.
The Potts Law Firm wants you to stay safe. More injuries are expected to be reported as indirect results of last week’s freeze. Potentially dangerous drinking water, broken water pipes, and damaged structures all pose risks to human safety. We urge you to be cautious and watchful for potential hazards that could impact you and your loved ones.
Tips for Staying Warm During a Power Outage
- Keep doors and windows closed, and put towels in front of any drafts.
- Layer your clothes, put on a hat, cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs, and wear mittens instead of gloves if possible. Use extra blankets for warmth.
- Know the signs of hypothermia — uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, slurred speech, drowsiness — and call 911 if someone shows these symptoms.
- Do not go outside if conditions are unsafe.
- Preserve your phone battery so you are able to call for help in an emergency.
- Generators, camp stoves, or charcoal grills should always be used outdoors and at least 20 feet away from any window or door.
- Never use a gas stove or oven to heat your home.
- If you use candles to light the room, never leave them unattended, and keep them away from pets and children.
The Potts Law Firm is Here to Help
The Potts Law Firm is dedicated to helping those who have been injured. If you or someone you know has been injured due to the Winter Storm Uri, we can help you navigate the law. Learn more about our Personal Injury lawyers or contact us for a free consultation.