As cold weather approaches, remember to protect “The Four P’s” in your life. In this particular instance, we don’t anticipate the need to wrap pipes – but it never hurts to know how to prepare for the future!
- Keep warm, stay inside if possible.
- If you need to go out, dress in layers and wear hats, gloves, and an appropriate coat.
- If you must travel, use Sugar Land’s Real-Time Traffic Conditions Map to check traffic and road conditions before you head out.
- Avoid overexertion, as cold weather puts added strain on your body.
- Never place a space heater on top of furniture or near water.
- Keep heat sources at least 3 feet away from furniture and drapes.
- Never leave children unattended near a space heater.
- Protect yourself from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning by installing a battery-operated CO detector and never using generators, grills, camp stoves, or similar devices indoors.
- Bring pets inside, and move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas.
- Keep adequate food and water available.
- It’s important to remember that a pet’s age, breed, or illness may affect how they tolerate the cold winter months. The Houston SPCA advises that it is best that all pets live indoors due to these unpredictable weather conditions.
- There’s no need to drip inside faucets during freezing weather (it will not adversely affect city water pressure if residents choose to do so), though there’s benefit to keeping cabinets open to expose pipes to warm air (as long as there’s nothing harmful inside that’s accessible to small children or pets).
- Disconnect outdoor hoses, drain, and store in a protected area.
- If you have a pool, besides keeping the pump running, make sure all the valves are open as well.
- Disconnect and drain your irrigation system.
- Wrap all your outside water pipes: faucets, main water pipes, sprinkler vacuum breaker, etc.
- You can purchase covers for these at your local hardware store. One can also wrap with towels and blankets to make sure pipes are not exposed.
- Drain and turn off your main valve to sprinkler vacuum breaker – then cover them.
- Open closet doors also in case you have plumbing in the walls or ceiling.
- Turn your thermostats hotter during the cold to help heat the home better.
- Know which plants need to be protected and which can withstand the cold
- For cold-sensitive outdoor plants, put down extra mulch and consider covering them with a cloth fabric of some kind to shield the plants from wind and frost.
- If there is sleet or snow that collects, dust it off as soon as it is safe
- Bring potted plants inside or store in the garage, near an interior wall to provide extra warmth and protection from wind.