Protect the 4 Ps: People, Plants, Pets, Pipes

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – As cold weather approaches, it’s important to prepare for the cold temperatures by protecting yourself, your pets, your plants and your pipes.

Here’s a guide to help you protect “Four PS”.

1. People:

  • Layered clothing: Dress in layers to trap heat and stay warm. Use thermal or insulated clothing for extra protection from the cold.
  • Safety accessories: Wear gloves, hats, and scarves to protect exposed skin from frostbite. Choose waterproof and windproof materials for added protection.
  • Shoes: Invest in insulated and waterproof boots to keep feet dry and warm.

Check on people who are more vulnerable to cold conditions such as neighboring children and the elderly.

2. Pets:

  • Warm Shelter: Provide a comfortable and insulated shelter for outdoor pets. Make sure the bed is dry and comfortable. Consider bringing them inside and limiting outside time.
  • Appropriate clothing: Consider pet jackets or sweaters for dogs with short fur. Protect paws during walks in icy conditions with pet-safe booties.
  • Hydration: Make sure pets have access to unfrozen water. Adjust their diet to meet increased energy needs in cold weather.

3. Plants:

  • Cover sensitive plants: Use burlap or frost cloth to protect delicate plants from frost. Bring potted plants indoors or in a sheltered location. Know the temperature range of your plants.
  • Mulching: Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the plants to insulate the roots. Mulch helps retain moisture and regulate soil temperature.
  • Watering: Water plants before freezing to provide extra insulation. Avoid overwatering, as saturated soil can damage the roots.

4. Pipes:

  • Insulation: Insulate exposed pipes with pipe sleeves or wraps. Pay attention to pipes in attics, basements and crawl spaces.
  • Dripping Faucet: Let the faucet drip to prevent water from freezing in the pipes. This small, continuous flow can prevent pipe bursts.
  • Disconnect the hoses: Disconnect the outdoor hoses and drain the remaining water. Store hoses indoors to prevent damage.

Also prepare for power outages. You should be equipped with extra batteries; flashlight battery-powered NOAA weather radio; and an emergency source of heat in the event of a power outage, such as a fireplace or space heater.

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