Weather Center

Stay One Step Ahead of Texas Winter Weather

By Jennifer Chappell Smith 12.3.18

Winters in Texas are always confusing. Shorts in January? Possible. Is it going to hail? Maybe. Are we playing golf or cozying up to the fireplace? When fickle Texas winter weather surprises you with an icy Hill Country road or a smartphone alert announcing a tornado, be prepared by following these tips.


According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), here’s what you should do during a hailstorm:

  • In a car: Pull over and stop driving. Stay in the car and cover your eyes and children’s eyes.
  • Inside: Stay inside. Avoid windows, though it’s tempting to look outside. Don’t use electronics, which pose a risk of electrocution, as lightning often accompanies hail.
  • Outside: Seek shelter and cover your head. Avoid ditches, which may fill with a sudden downpour of rain, and shelter under a tree as a last resort, as storm winds may bring down branches.

Long before your local news weather guy or girl predicts a thunderstorm with the possibility of hail, protect your vehicles with one simple act: Get that garage cleaned out so you can pull the cars inside. Clear clutter and store Christmas decor in the attic. Most important when hail starts falling is to protect yourself.

Driving on Icy Roads

Snowfalls may surprise in some parts of Texas, and inexperienced drivers sometimes panic at a hint of accumulation. Here’s how to prep for encounters with frozen precipitation:

  • Drive slowly and increase your distance behind cars, says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  • Keep flares, blankets, and jumper cables in your car in case you get stranded.

Walking in Snow and Ice

Sleet — that dreaded mix of ice and rain — can wreak havoc whether you’re driving or walking in Texas winter weather.

  • Consumer Reports suggests wearing shoes with rubberized, grooved soles if you’ll be walking in icy weather, and older adults who use canes can even invest in a grooved tip for navigating icy sidewalks.
  • Keep hands out of pockets to lower your center of gravity and extend them for balance, suggests the Carl R. Woese Institute of Genomic Biology. Avoid carrying too much so hands are available to break a fall if necessary.


Tornados always tend to surprise, but in the wintertime, they seem totally unexpected. The IBHS offers these tips so you’re prepared in any season:

  • Inside: Learn where the building’s designated safety area is and go there. At home, determine which room is the safest — choose a central room on the ground floor with no windows.
  • In a car: Buckle seat belts and drive to safety if possible, but park if debris strikes and cover your head.
  • Outside: Lie in a low-lying area and cover your head.

The best way to make sure you’re prepared for any Texas winter weather is to schedule a 360 Review with your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent. They’ll sit down with you and make sure you have the coverage you need.

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation. © 2018 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance