AUSTIN, Texas -- As the cold front rolls in to Central Texas, some families still spent their Sunday morning at the park. 

"We were taking them out to the park today a little bit early, just because it's going to get to cold tonight and they love being outside in the cold," said Julio Rochelle, a Austin resident.

Rochell wanted to let his dogs spend some time outdoors before he confines them to the house for the next few days. Experts want to remind everyone of the four P’s: Pets, People, Pipes and plants.


A good rule of thumb is if you're cold outside, your pet will be, too. Very young or very old animals are more susceptible to suffering medical issues due to the cold. While officials do not recommend leaving your pets outside, if you must, make sure you have a dry, well insulated space for them.

"If they are out 15 to 20 mins, that could cause some damage," said Rochell.

Pets can be easily spooked by fireworks. Shelters often receive a higher number of animals around holidays involving fireworks. Keep them indoors, without a way to escape.


Before the frigid weather arrives, make sure to wrap all exposed pipes located outside or in unheated areas of your home. Cover any vents around the foundation of your home.

If the temperature drops to 28 degrees or below for at least 4 hours, then you should also drip outside faucets. Once the temperature rises, turn the faucets back off.

Residents in the Austin area contact Austin Water's 24-Hour Emergency Hotline at 512-972-1000. San Antonio residents can contact SAWS for emergencies at 210-704-7297.


It's also crucial during this cold snap not to forget about the potential silent killer, carbon monoxide.

The odorless, colorless gas that can build up indoors and poison people and animals who breathe it. According to the CDC, more than 400 Americans die each year from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning not linked to fires.

Never use a generator inside your home, basement, or garage. If its located outside, it must be 20 feet away from any window, door, or vent. Never burn charcoal indoors and never use a gas range or oven for heating.

It is also smart to have a battery-powered or battery backup carbon monoxide detector in your home.

Remember to protect your home from fire hazards. Make sure to keep any space heaters away from blankets, couches or any other flammable material. According to FEMA, the top three days for fires caused by candles are Christmas, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.


Plants are something people often forget about. Shoal Creek Nursery began preparing for the hard freeze days ago, bringing plants inside that may need a little extra warmth. Most plants aren't mobile, so watering then covering them will be your best bet.

"You're going to have a few hours were the wind can just whisk this stuff off if you don't anchor it down," said Don.

You can use things you have around the house, like a sheet or beach towel. Make sure you place rocks or heavier objects around the cloth to keep it from blowing away.

TxDot is also keeping a close eye on the roads through the new year. The possibility of icy road conditions means the department is on high alert. This past Thursday, TxDot trucks were spotted in Bexar County, pretreating roads with a salt water brine solution. A great way to stay up to date on the road conditions is to visit