Town Square

Let’s Fix This: How To Repair Your Home After The Houston Freeze And Access A Winter Storm Relief Fund

As Greater Houston recovers from the Winter Freeze, master builder Matt Risinger offers guidance on DIY home repairs. We also learn about a new Houston Harris County Winter Storm Relief Fund.

Courtesy of Mary Ann Marucci
Plumbing damage at a Houston residence following the 2021 winter storms


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Town Square with Ernie Manouse airs at 3 p.m. CT. Tune in on 88.7FM, listen online or subscribe to the podcast. Join the discussion at 888-486-9677, or @townsquaretalk.

Once things are recovered for you, it can be easy to forget that other people still have problems.

While we're extremely thankful that last week's weather is behind us and that many of us have a new-found appreciation for power and water, there are still pipes broken. There is still food insecurity in the aftermath.

Life is not back to normal for many Houstonians.

We're here to try to help you get things back on course.

Today, a master builder fields listeners' questions on plumbing and home repairs, including what to keep in an Emergency Tool Kit. We also learn about a new Houston Harris County Winter Storm Relief Fund, and how the money will go to local nonprofits to help families meet basic relief needs. Plus, the City of Houston’s Department of Neighborhoods announces that homeowners can receive a temporary exemption of a portion of their property taxes if their property was at least 15% damaged by the winter storm.


Amanda McMillan

Renee Wizig-Barrios

Matt Risinger

Houston Public Media reporter Matt Harab also joins Ernie with updates on grocery stores and vaccines:

  • An HEB spokesperson says that they expect limits on essential items to be lifted within the next two weeks.
  • HEB has already gone back to regular store hours, but by the end of this week, stores should basically look like the HEB that customers are used to.
  • Every store is going to look a little different, but all Houston HEB's should be full of most of the products that customers want by the end of the week, even with those limitations on essential items that may still be in place.
  • CVS says starting tomorrow the pharmacy will be offering COVID-19 vaccines at 15 NEW locations in Greater Houston.
  • This is in comparison to just 6 locations in Greater Houston, mostly in the suburbs, when CVS first started rolling out vaccine appointments.
  • To make an appointment at CVS, you can go online or call their customer service number (800) 746-7287.
  • The City's health department is reporting just 133 new cases of COVID-19 for today.
  • 72 of those 133 have been collected in the last 14 days. The daily numbers that are being reported keep going down, and it's being reflected in the hospitals.

**According to Greater Houston Recovery: “If you need help recovering from the winter storm or with any other needs, dial 211 anytime day or night.

For information on the Houston Harris County Winter Storm Relief Fund funding that may be available to assist with plumbing and home repairs, please text HOUSTONFREEZE to 898211. As soon as additional information is available on funding eligibility and criteria, we will text you with the information needed to apply. Regular data rates apply.”**

Town Square with Ernie Manouse is a gathering space for the community to come together and discuss the day’s most important and pressing issues.

Audio from today's show will be available after 5 p.m. CT. We also offer a free podcast here, on iTunes, and other apps.

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Catherine Lu

Catherine Lu

Senior Content Producer & Announcer

While growing up in Chicago and Houston, Catherine’s love for art, music and creative writing was influenced by her teachers and parents. She was once concertmaster of the Clear Lake High School Orchestra and a four-time violinist of the Texas All-State Symphony. A graduate of the University of Chicago, Catherine...

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