Memories of Winter Storm Uri have many wondering if they can rely on the Texas power grid each winter. What are residents doing these days to prepare for another potential disaster? We asked more than 500 Texans to share their feelings and plans.
In the Grid We Trust
How much trust do Texans have in their power grid, and how does it relate to the recent power outages they’ve experienced? Let’s look at the numbers.
Most Texas residents we surveyed seemed optimistic about relying on the state’s power grid this year. More than three-quarters (76%) said they’re confident it will withstand a severe winter storm, and 58% believe it’s thanks to the diligent work of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).
However, 87% said they’ve considered moving out of the state because they fear another storm like Uri sweeping through. Some might wish they already had. Within the last six months, 83% have experienced rolling blackouts, and 90% have been asked by their energy provider to conserve energy.
Ready for an Outage
Next, let’s see what changes Texas residents are making (if any) to ensure they’re ready for power outages this winter. How much is this new normal costing them?
Fortunately, more than three-quarters of the Texans we surveyed (78%) said they feel prepared for a winter storm outage. With 61% buying emergency supplies like blankets and 54% stocking up on water and nonperishable food, many of our respondents are taking the right precautions. However, 2% have yet to do anything to get ready for such a disaster to happen again.
Maybe that’s because of the cost. On average, those who have made preparations for a winter storm power outage have spent $213. Although some winter storm prepping can be pricey, such as purchasing a generator or installing a wood-burning stove or fireplace (measures taken by 42% and 40%, respectively), others are very affordable. For instance, all you need for an emergency kit are gallons of water (one for each person), some nonperishable food, flashlights, batteries, first aid items, and a portable phone charger.
Payless Power surveyed 582 Texans about the Texas power grid. By metro area, 17% were from Austin, 19% were from Dallas-Fort Worth, 17% were from Houston, 16% were from San Antonio, and the remainder were from other areas in Texas.
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