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Freezing Temps Expected Late Thursday into this Weekend

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), a cold front will move through the area on Thursday. Temperatures are expected to drop very quickly into the 30s and 20s by Thursday night. The wind chill could make temperatures feel like they are in the 10s or 1s.

A Hard Freeze Watch has been issued for Harris County from December 22 at 12 p.m. through December 24 at 12 p.m. Additionally, a Wind Chill Watch has been issued for Harris County from December 22 at 6 p.m. through December 23 at 12 p.m. Residents should expect additional watches and warnings to be issued through Saturday.

The time to prepare is now. Prepare your vehicle and home by sundown today, especially if you are traveling for the holidays.

The City of Houston will be opening warming centers in several locations. Houston residents can dial 311 for more information. Lakewood Church will also be opening as a warming center.

Remember to protect the “Four P’s”: People, pets, pipes, and plants.

People:
• Keep warm, stay inside if possible.
• If you need to go out, dress in layers and wear hats, gloves and an appropriate coat.
• Avoid overexertion, as cold weather puts added strain on your body.

Pets:
• Prolonged exposure to the forecasted temperatures and wind may be fatal to unprotected livestock and pets.
• Bring pets inside, and move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas.
• Keep adequate food and water available.

Pipes:
• Proper winterization of any exposed pipes/plumbing will be needed to prevent damage.
• Disconnect outdoor hoses, drain and store in protected area.
• Wrap exposed faucets and pipes – including those outside the house or in unheated crawl spaces, attics, garages and other areas.
• If leaving out of town for the upcoming holidays, shut off the main water supply and drain pipes to prevent damage should they burst.

Plants:
• Bring potted plants inside or store in garage near interior wall to provide extra warmth and protection from wind.
• For cold-sensitive outdoor plants, put down extra mulch and consider covering with a cloth fabric of some kind to shield the plants from wind and frost.
• Tropical plants/vegetation will require maximum freeze protection.

Heater Safety:
Portable space heaters are often used to heat rooms and homes. If not used properly, they can cause fires, severe injuries, and death. If using a portable heater, remember these important safety tips:
• Keep heaters at least 3 feet from anything that can burn, including furniture, carpets, curtains, and people.
• Place heaters on solid, non-flammable surfaces.
• Never block exits with a heater and keep them out of the way of foot traffic.
• Keep children away from heaters.
• Always plug heaters directly into wall outlets – NEVER use an extension cord.
• Turn off and unplug space heaters when leaving a room or going to bed.

Protect yourself from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning by installing a battery-operated CO detector and never use generators, grills, camp stoves, or similar devices indoors.

For more information on how to prepare and stay safe during a winter weather event, visit ReadyHarris.org.

Stay informed by following HCOHSEM updates at ReadyHarris.org, on social media, and by signing up for Ready Harris Alerts or ReadyHarris Accessible Alerts.

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