SASKATOON -- A Saskatchewan man living in Houston, Texas is one of the millions of people who have lost heat and water during a record-breaking winter storm.

Sheldon Vetter, who is originally from Delisle, has lived in Texas since 2016 and says when the weather was forecasting -15 C, he became scared knowing what could happen after living in Western Canada.

“When you have exposed pipes on the outside of your house that are going to be exposed to minus 15 (weather), it made me pretty nervous.” Vetter told CTV News.

“It was time to go to Home Depot and grab some additional pipe insulation and get everything more buttoned down.”

With his Canadian roots of knowing this type of frigid weather, Vetter reached out to his neighbour to suggest preparing his house as he would be away.

“I drained his house completely and wrapped all his hose bibs and then when I went to my house, I was seriously contemplating doing the same thing.”

The severe winter weather is something Texas infrastructure isn't built to handle. Vetter emphasizes that the homes don’t have basements, and are built on concrete slabs as there’s no frost line to manage.

At least 47 people have already died due to the harsh conditions, ranging from carbon monoxide poisoning, tripping on ice, crashes on icy roads and hypothermia.

“The duration of five days of freezing temperatures in Texas is very rare. It’s only happened a few times in the last hundred years from my understanding,” Vetter said.

While Vetter’s family did experience some blackouts, he says they were fortunate to have a natural gas fireplace as a supplement to not having a furnace to keep them warm.

With minimal resources to handle this type of situation in the state, Vetter recalls long lines of about “a block-and-a-half” and four to five hour wait times at the gas station to get propane.

Texas grid operators say the electrical system is back to normal for the first time since the winter storm knocked out power to more than four million customers.

This is the case for Vetter’s family as he says people are beginning to transition into recovery mode.