This article has been updated.

The PTSD is real.

As state officials, led by Gov. Greg Abbott, assured Texans on Tuesday that the electrical grid would withstand an approaching winter storm and generate sufficient power to avoid a repeat of last February’s extended outages, gallows humor about stocking up for Snowmeggedon 2 at H-E-B filled social media feeds.

Local leaders also detailed preparedness plans Tuesday for the Arctic cold front that is expected to begin moving through the region on Wednesday afternoon, bringing potentially heavy rain and gusty winds. Bexar County officials announced it would open six warming centers; the City of San Antonio made plans to open four short-term emergency shelters beginning at 7 a.m. Thursday.

The front comes almost a year after Winter Storm Uri devastated the state, leaving millions freezing and without power and water for days. At least 246 people died, according to state data. Now, as the state faces the coldest days of this winter to date, many remain traumatized and skeptical that there won’t be more outages and failures.

Local officials, meanwhile, appear to have taken lessons learned to heart, with city, county, utility and public safety leaders appearing together to describe how they’re preparing, and asking residents to do the same.

San Antonians still have time to prepare, and City Manager Erik Walsh encouraged residents to focus on the four Ps — people, pets, plants and pipes. He urged those who can stay off potentially dangerous roads to do so.

CPS Energy interim CEO Rudy Garza echoed Abbott’s comments earlier in the day that while the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates the state’s electrical grid, is expected to have enough power to meet demand, localized outages could still occur from high winds knocking out power lines.

Temperatures are expected to continue falling Thursday, with a hard freeze in the low teens to low 20s on Thursday and Friday nights across South Texas. The National Weather Service reports that some locations in the Hill Country could see a freeze for up to 60 hours in duration.

A wintry mix of freezing rain and sleet is expected by Thursday morning, producing ice that could affect travel through the Hill Country, with a smaller chance of rain and sleet in San Antonio and farther south.

Residents who had pipes freeze or burst during last year’s extended winter storm are at similar risk if they did not add insulation or otherwise upgrade their pipes, said SAWS CEO Robert Puente. He encouraged people to wrap exposed pipes and/or leave faucets trickling during the freezing nights.

He emphasized that San Antonio should not see a repeat of last year’s pumping station outages, a result of CPS Energy cutting power to the critical stations in an effort to reduce electricity demand, per ERCOT, to keep the grid from collapsing.

“CPS knows which pump stations are critical, and which can be shut down” if necessary, he said.

Several local school districts said it was too early to make a decision about possible closures, but are watching weather reports closely. A North East Independent School District spokeswoman said officials would likely be up early Thursday — like, 3 a.m. early — driving on roads to see if conditions are safe enough to keep schools open.

Many school districts closed their doors on Jan. 20, based on reports that area roads might ice over that afternoon. That forecast turned out to be incorrect — temperatures remained in the high 30s, with no precipitation — causing some to second-guess the districts’ decision.

“We recognize any decision we make will be met with some objections,” said Barry Perez, executive director of communications for Northside Independent School District. “We make the best decision we can with the information we have, with the goal of keeping students and staff safe.”

But the extended freeze last year, and the perception that local officials were not prepared, linger for many residents.

“Anecdotally, from what we’ve seen, yes, people are a lot more concerned based on their experiences last year,” Perez said.

Tracy Idell Hamilton

Tracy Idell Hamilton is Story Editor for the San Antonio Report.