Arctic Cold Front: Safety Tips

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An arctic cold front is blowing through Texas, advancing toward the Houston area. Temperatures are expected to drop to the 20’s and 30’s beginning Saturday, February 13th, 2021. This “winter weather” is predicted to last for several days, with a hard freeze expected Sunday, February 14th and potential ice or snow Monday, February 15th. As this type of weather is rare for our area, Harris County MUD 249 wants to prepare residents by sharing a few helpful cold weather preparation tips.

How can District residents prepare? Practice the “Four P’s” as the cold front set in:

People:
Dress in warm clothing, wear coats and gloves when outdoors. Cover heads and ears. Protect children and the elderly. Never leave them in a cold place, vehicle, or exposed to the elements. Potential daytime highs could hover around 31 or 32 degrees, the coldest Houston has seen in some time.

Pets:
Bring pets indoors when possible. Remember: if it is too cold for you, it is too cold for them! Provide a warm, safe place for them to eat and sleep. Keep outdoor pets sheltered. There are many options for adding a place for outdoor animals to keep warm; consider making a winter cat shelter or insulating the doghouse. Bundle them up! Adding a sweater for short hair dogs is more than cute, it is protective.

Pipes:
Prevent frozen pipes and damage to the home by opening the cabinets under the kitchen and bathroom sinks to allow warm air to circulate and warm up the pipes. Insulate outdoor faucets and exposed pipes and be sure to disconnect and drain hoses from outdoor spigots. Ask your irrigation specialist about clearing sprinkler system lines ahead of the freeze.

Plants:
Protect plants from the freeze by covering them with plant-cover fabric, or a light blanket topped with plastic sheeting. Hydrate plants early so they can absorb water and stay healthy through the cold.

Additionally, there are a few vehicle-safety tips to observe during winter weather:

  • Keep vehicle gas tanks full
  • Have tire pressures checked
  • Keep a phone charger, first aid kit, blankets, and jumper cables in personal vehicles
  • Check local road conditions at www.houstontranstar.org. State highway information is also available at www.drivetexas.org.

Lastly, here are some safety tips recommended by local Fire Departments regarding space heaters and other supplemental heating sources:

  • Never leave a space heater unattended, or a child unattended with a space heater
  • Keep all combustible materials (and people) at least three (3) feet away from space heaters
  • Never overload outlets or breakers
  • Do not power space heaters with extension cords or power strips; do not use power strips or extension cords as an alternative for permanent wiring
  • Always turn off space heaters when leaving the room and/or going to sleep

Share these tips to neighborhood social media outlets using the share buttons above; Facebook, Nextdoor, and Twitter shares can help neighbors see these tips before the arctic front arrives. Stay safe and warm!