Feb 19, 2021
Dear member –

We hope this message finds you safe and hopefully warm.

Our thoughts have been with each of you over the past few days as we’ve attempted to weather this storm. With the lack of power and limited cell service, communication has been tough, but we hope that hasn’t stopped you from reaching out in your time of need.

Your Chamber has been working with local officials and responding to questions as you’ve reached out.

While recovery and warmer days are on the horizon, we know with it will likely bring more headaches with what the thaw will uncover. Should you need assistance at any level, help with a question for local government, or someone to bounce an idea off of – your Chamber is here. We have resources and a team of professionals on standby waiting to serve you.

We’ve been proud to read the stories online where our valued partners and members of our local business community have stepped up to help neighbors and fellow business owners in their time of need. Just like you did and continue to do with what 2020 threw at you, you’ve shown tremendous tenacity and strength. For that, we are so grateful.

Our work continues with local officials and community partners as we move toward warmer days. Texas is tough – you are tougher. Let’s all walk toward that light, together, and set the example of what strong communities do when met with troubling and difficult situations.

Afterall, that’s the Abilene way.


Doug Peters, IOM-AP
President & CEO
Abilene Chamber of Commerce
Our team is standing by waiting to answer questions or provide assistance. Here are some helpful tips as we move toward warmer days.

If you have a pipe burst in your home or business, follow the steps below:
  • Turn main water supply off
  • File a claim as soon as possible with your insurance company
  • Do not make permanent repairs until a claim has been filed & damage has been inspected by adjuster
  • Check home for water leaks/damage when it is safe
  • Check personal property for damage
  • Do not dispose of any damaged property until an adjuster has completed the inspection
  • Take photos/videos of all damage; both property (home) and personal belongings
  • Clean damage after it has been documented; not cleaning can cause more damage
What to do if pipes are frozen:
  • Turn main water supply off
  • It is better if you get assistance from a plumber/professional
Tips if no plumber is available:
  • Remove water hoses from outside water sockets, this will help indoor faucets drain
  • Cover outside water sockets
  • Turn indoor water faucets on before you apply heat to the pipes
  • Start closest to the faucet and work your way down the pipe
  • If you cannot reach/locate the pipe; contact a plumber
Tips when contacting insurance company:
  • Do not use the word “flood” because insurance companies have a specific definition of the word flood and floods are only covered under a separate policy. Always refer to your claim as “water damage.”
  • Emphasis the burst pipe was “sudden/accidental” due to weather.
  • Make sure to read and understand the work authorization forms you are signing.
  • You might want to write “any billing is subject to an agreement and approval by the insurance company” when working with an emergency service company. You might have reported the damage and may have a claim number but remember that you might be on your own until the claim is approved.

For a list of Chamber member plumbers, click here. For a list of Chamber member water restoration services, click here. To request assistance from Chamber staff, click here.
Now that water service has been restored in the City of Abilene, several pipes around town have been bursting, leaving many wondering what they should do if it happens to them.

While the city usually discourages turning your water off yourself, it might be necessary in case of an emergency.

City officials also say you can call them for an emergency shutoff, but it may take a little longer than doing it yourself.

To see how to shut off your water in case of an emergency, watch the video here.
If you are still without water and unable to travel, call 325.721.4948 or 325.721.6074. Crews are able to deliver to those in need and unable to get to a store for purchase. Limited food supplies are also available for those in need.
This report is intended to give you an overview and highlight remarks. It is not a verbatim transcript of the discussions but is based upon what was audible or understandable to the observer with the desire to get details out as quickly as possible with few errors or omissions.

Governor Greg Abbott
  • There will be more cold temperatures in various parts of Texas tonight
  • But still must deal with the uncertainty of power generators
  • Says approx. 325k Texans without power not because of lack of generation or ability to generate but ice damage and need to manually turn on the power
  • Every available repair truck has been dispatched to down power lines - that is a task conducted by power companies in your area but Texas agencies will continue to work around the clock with others until power is restored to every single location across the state
  • Focus is on five tasks
  • 1) Use all tools available to get power to all Texans
  • 2) Ensure use every tool possible to get water restored; Evaluating waivers & executive orders to speed up that process
  • 3) Efforts to help Texans challenged by broken water pipes; request for major disaster declaration so FEMA can assist with funding to damage homes
  • 4) Organizing process of getting aid to Texans in need which includes increase of warming centers across the state texas.gov/warm; places to get food feedingtexas.org & Red Cross: http://redcross.org
  • 5) Events like this never happen again; start with reforming ERCOT
  • ERCOT told state of Texas 5 days before storm “we are ready for the cold temperatures coming our way”; ERCOT issued a notice to power plants to ensure they were winterized appropriately
  • “ERCOT failed on each of these measures”
  • More than EO must be done; adding more emergency items to the legislative session
  • Adding two more emergency items for the legislative session:
  • Mandate winterization of generators in the power system
  • Funding for modernization of those systems
  • Not yet out of this but closer to this challenge being behind us; we will not stop until normalcy is returned to your lives

Click here for more new from the Governor's office.
You don't want to miss these upcoming events for
your business.

FEB 23 AYP AND THE DALLAS STARS Your AYP Committee is actively looking for ways to bring value to your membership and are excited to bring you an opportunity to hear from Executive Vice President, Business Operations and General Counsel for the Dallas Stars National Hockey League - Alana Matthews. Join us at 11:00 AM on zoom. Click here for more information.

FEB 24 AND MARCH 31 ONE MILLION CUPS Are you an entrepreneur? Are you searching for a way to connect with other entrepreneurs to discover solutions for your small business needs? The Abilene Chamber of Commerce and McMurry University Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship are excited to bring the Abilene community - 1 Million Cups! Join us at 9:00 AM to discuss common problems, and potential solutions all entrepreneurs may face. Click here for Feb 24 information.

FEB 24 MICROSOFT 365 PRODUCTIVITY & PLANNING Get the most out of your Microsoft 365 applications! In this training we’ll show you how to use the tools available in Microsoft 365 to maximize your business’s productivity and organization. This virtual webinar event is free and open to the public. Register here.

FEB 25 TABLE FOR 10 LUNCH EVENT Abilene Young Professionals presents our newest networking opportunity - Table for 10. Join us at 12:00 PM noon at Betty Rose's Little Brisket for conversation and networking! Click here to sign up.

FEB 25 TABLE FOR 10 EVENING EVENT Abilene Young Professionals presents our newest networking opportunity - Table for 10. Join us at 5:30 PM to meet new people and enjoy great food, with an appetizer on the house thanks to our partner at Betty Rose's Little Brisket! Click here to sign up.

MARCH 2 2021 ECONOMIC OUTLOOK To help you with the economic uncertainty and to help forecast recovery, your Chamber in partnership with America’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Texas Tech, is pleased to bring you an Economic Outlook Seminar on March 2 featuring renowned economist Dr. Mark Dotzour. Please join us at 10:30 AM via zoom. Click here for more information.

MARCH 6 ABILENE ZOO At 10:00 AM the Abilene Zoo will host its Grand Opening of the Madagascar Exhibit. Click here to set a reminder.

MARCH 24 SECURITY AWARENESS Did you know your team is your first line of defense when it comes to your business’s cybersecurity? Learn how to boost your defenses by training your team on Security Awareness. This virtual webinar is free and open to the public. Register here.

MARCH 25 & 26, APRIL 1 & 2 ELEMENTS OF SUCCESSFUL PHILANTHROPY VIRTUAL TRAINING SERIES The Friends of the Texas Historical Commission are leading this series on development training suited for large and small organizations from any discipline with limited development staff. They will highlight the best practices while facilitating dynamic group interactions to help attendees build and strengthen their fundraising "tool-kit" so they can more effectively and sustainably achieve their mission. Click Here to learn more and Click Here to Register Now.