KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
February 13, 2021
By Jennifer Miko
Local forecasts show an intense cold front descending upon the Katy area with icy temperatures, dipping into the teens, if not lower, on Monday. The time to prepare your home is now to make sure everyone stays warm, and your home is protected from the elements.
The National Weather Service warns local residents of a major winter storm to impact the region Sunday and Monday. Area officials have also asked residents to avoid going out those days in anticipation of dangerously icy roads, and the possibility downed power lines or tree limbs.
PROTECT YOUR HOME:
Insulate exterior pipes. Wrap exposed faucets, pipes and vacuum breakers, including those outside the house or in unheated crawl spaces, attics, garages and other areas.
Confirm outside faucet washers are secure.
Disconnect hoses from outside faucets and use insulated faucet covers to keep them from freezing.
Keep running the swimming pool pump and make sure all the valves are open.
Keep the lid closed on the meter box so the meter doesn't freeze.
Show everyone in the household the location of the main water shut-off valve. If a pipe breaks, it will be necessary to turn the water off in a hurry. Check this valve now to make sure it is working.
If you must leave your house vacant for a long period, turn off your water supply at the gate valve on the resident’s side of the meter box and have a plumber do the necessary work to prepare pipes to prevent damage.
During prolonged freezes, open all cabinet doors that contain water pipes to allow heat to enter them. Place a lamp in the cabinets so the bulb can keep the area warm, but make sure there are no flammable materials near it. Relocate any toxic materials so children and pets cannot get to them if cabinet doors are left open.
Keep extra water in the tub during freezing weather in case of a main break or a frozen pipe cuts off the water supply.
Keep warm and stay inside if possible.
Dress in layers and wear hats, gloves and an appropriate coat.
Avoid overexertion, as cold weather puts added strain on the body.
Never place a space heater on top of furniture or near water.
Keep heat sources at least three 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.
Cover plants with a frost cloth (don’t cover plants with plastic).
Move potted plants to a spot where they’re protected from the north wind.
Water plants to keep the roots from getting frost damage.
NO WATER? Could be a frozen pipe.
Follow the important steps listed below to prevent further damage or injury:
Check your private plumbing, as it is probably frozen at the point where the pipe goes under the house or through an attic, if not insulated. Check there first.
If a pipe is frozen, it is safest to call a plumber to handle the problem. The pipe may be cracked and will burst when thawed.
Do not use an electrical appliance to heat the pipe. Spraying water from a burst pipe could get onto the appliance, creating the risk of electrocution.
Signs of a broken water main include water running down the street and buckled pavement.
For more information about the upcoming weather event and how to protect your home and loved ones, visit the National Weather Services' website.