Aluminum air pipes

How to Protect Pipes, Plants, and Pets During the Texas Winter Storm

The National Weather Service has issued a warning for a winter storm that is expected to hit Tarrant County Wednesday night and last through Friday.

There is a possibility of freezing rain and sleet from Wednesday evening and temperatures are forecast to dip below freezing on Thursday with highs in the mid-20s. According to the National Weather Service in Fort Worth, Friday evening will see lows between 10 and 15 s.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when preparing for sub-freezing temperatures in North Texas:

HOW TO PROTECT WATER TAPS FROM FREEZING

Water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, so during prolonged frosts it may be necessary to open cabinet doors under sinks where there are water lines.

the City of Fort Worth advises residents to keep extra water on hand in case of a broken pipe or frozen pipe.

The Texas Department of Insurance advises Texans to wrap all exposed pipes in your home and cover all exterior pipes to keep them insulated.

If your home is without electricity, avoid using exterior doors to keep warm air inside. Heating a home with a working chimney and dripping faucets are other ways to reduce the risk of burst pipes.

The Texas Department of Insurance created a YouTube video in December titled “How to prevent pipes from freezing” with more tips on securing pipes.

Frozen pipes may crack or burst when thawed; if you have a frozen pipe, call a plumber for help.

PROTECT PETS AND ANIMALS IN THE COLD

Outdoor pets should be given more food and water in cold weather as they lose more energy. the Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals advises owners of outdoor pets to provide raised shelter from the wind with blankets, towels or hay to keep the pet warm and dry.

Never leave a pet unattended in a car during the winter, such as precautions taken during the heat.

Outdoor and feral cats may use cars parked outside for shelter – If your car is parked outside, knock on the car hood, slam your car door, or honk your horn to warn others. outdoor cats before starting your car.

PROTECT OUTDOOR PLANTS

Some plants are more resistant to cold than others, such as pansies, which can survive single-digit temperatures. For all plants, keeping the soil warm is the top priority when protecting outdoor plants through the winter.

According to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension in Travis Countypotted plants are most susceptible to freezing because the roots have not acquired the same cold tolerance as plants rooted in the ground.

To protect your outdoor plants from the cold, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension advises watering the plants ahead of time and covering them with ground cover cloth or sheets overnight and uncovering the plants during the day.

According to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, plastic can damage plant leaves in cold weather, so when using plastic covers, be sure to also use a metal frame to keep the cover from touching the plant.

WILL PROPANE FREEZE?

While the tank can get cold, the propane inside has a freezing point of negative 305.9 degrees Fahrenheit.

Always keep propane tanks outdoors and away from fire.

This story was originally published February 2, 2022 1:47 p.m.

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Megan Cardona is a duty reporter at the Star-Telegram, covering politics, government programs, community resources and more to help residents navigate daily life in Tarrant County and North Texas. She graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2020, where she worked at the campus newspaper, The Shorthorn, for two years.