Cold weather preparation

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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Winter is on our doorstep and there are steps you can take to protect yourself, pets, plants, and pipes.

Be sure to keep your pets inside as much as possible as the temperatures drop and be extra careful when handling chemicals to solve certain winter problems.

“This time of year when we start to use a lot of coolants, anti-freeze, things like that; just make sure you clean those solutions up, if they get spilled. They’re toxic to animals,” says Dr. Tyson Pompelia, a veterinarian at Collinsville Veterinary Clinic.

Your autumn bedding plants will be able to handle the 20s, but certain plants aren’t so lucky.

“If you have tropical plants that will freeze, the best thing you can possibly do is move them inside," says Neil Moore, owner of Plant the Earth. "People will tend to want to throw a sheet over something and protect them, but plants can’t generate any heat, so when the temperature gets down in the mid-20s, they’re probably going to freeze with a sheet over them.”

Cold temperatures and wind along with it can cause problems to pipes, causing them to burst if you don’t take some necessary steps.

“Let’s cover all exposed piping on the outside to keep the wind and the cold weather off of those pipes. Second of all, let’s cover all your exterior openings, where air can flow up underneath your house. And let’s keep the wind chill off the pipes. The wind chill is what bursts more pipe than actual cold weather,” says Gary Barber, part owner of Barber and Sons Plumbing Company.

There are also steps you may follow if there is a power outage during a cold snap.

“Cut your faucets on, and let your faucets drip. And as the water flows through the pipe, it actually creates a friction and creates warmth. Keep your faucets dripping,” Barber said.

And as for people, be sure to always dress warmly to prevent hypothermia, and know that if it’s windy, you will need to especially protect exposed skin to prevent a frostbite danger. Check on your elderly relatives and neighbors to make sure they have what they need to stay warm.