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Texas residents turned to social media this week with desperate pleas for assistance as uncharacteristically frigid winter weather caused frozen and burst pipes across the state along with indoor flooding, collapsed ceilings, food and fuel supply shortages, and widespread power outages.

The Texas Department of Insurance was closed on Thursday, Feb. 18th, "due to the weather and power outages," and that closure included its helplines. The department's website provided anyone looking for insurance guidance with directions for filing a claim, tips for avoiding a scam, and resources for finding help, including Transitional Shelter Assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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Elana Ashanti Jefferson

Elana Ashanti Jefferson serves as ALM's PropertyCasualty360 Group Chief Editor. She is a veteran journalist and communications professional. Reach her by sending an e-mail to [email protected].