Keeping Warm and Safe During the Texas Spring 2021 Snowstorms with BCFS Health and Human Services

In the spring of 2021, a series of snowstorms brought much of Texas to a halt. The storms were initially a novelty, but their impacts soon turned serious as the energy grid began failing and people were left to fend for themselves against bitter cold. Helping Texans manage these storms was BCFS Health and Human Services, a nonprofit organization that’s a recognized leader in emergency management, medical care services, residential services, and education. The organization’s relief efforts spanned across the state to help residents survive and rebuild from one of its costliest natural disasters.

In San Antonio, the organization provided an array of services. It furnished a warming center at a local convention center with blankets and cots as well as emergency power generators. This facility offered heat for 500 individuals who would otherwise have been exposed to dangerous cold. BCFS Health and Human Services also brought in 15 semi-trucks filled with bottled water, distributing them to the San Antonio Food Bank, an apartment complex impacted by fire, and other facilities.

Six of BCFS Health and Human Services’ facilities lost water or power (in some cases both), but emergency response teams provided these facilities with emergency generators, food, and water to ensure uninterrupted service to those at the facilities. Staff members worked many tireless hours into the night to ensure safety for everyone in their care, with many sleeping on cots in shifts before getting back to work.

The organization came to the aid of Breckenridge Village of Tyler (BVT), a nonprofit that provides care services for intellectually or developmentally disabled adults. BVT lost power during the storm and needed to quickly evacuate its residents to a nearby chapel where BCFS Health and Human Services setup emergency power and warm sleeping quarters. This rapid deployment allowed BVT to ensure the safety of its residents and staff.

BCFS Health and Human Services also aided its educational services which are located throughout Texas and were deeply impacted by the storm. The organization partners with local schools, which were hard hit by burst pipes, flooding, and power-related problems. BCFS Health and Human Services worked alongside partners to complete repairs and bring these schools back to operation so they could continue to serve students and the community.