As freezing temperatures move through our area over the next few days, citizens can receive emergency information by visiting the Leon County Emergency Information Portal at www.LeonCountyFL.gov/EI or downloading the Leon County Citizens Connect App in the App Store and on Google Play. Additionally, the following preventative actions can be taken:
To protect your home plumbing:
The City of Tallahassee says significantly colder temperatures as 2018 begins means residents should take steps to lower the risk of broken water lines.
To avoid water pipes breaking, customers are advised to run at least one faucet in their home or business at a thin stream. The expansion of freezing water can break pipes, leaving customers with a thoroughly soaked house when the pipes thaw.
If citizens see water trickling out of spigots in area parks and public spaces, the city says please do not turn them off. The city is intentionally leaving the water trickling to prevent or minimize issues caused by the cold.
The city says that pipes that break between the water meter and the home or within the home are customers’ responsibility. City Utilities repairs damage to pipes between the water main under the street and the meter or in the meter itself.
Insulate all outside pipes with cloth or a similar material to help prevent freezing.
All piping in attics, including those to water heaters, should be protected as well.
Check to make sure the cover to your water meter fits tightly. If your pipes do freeze, you can use the valve inside the meter box to shut off all the water to the house, helping to prevent indoor flooding when pipes thaw.
If you have a backflow assembly on your water service line, it, too, may freeze with very cold temperatures. Insulate the assembly properly by wrapping or covering the pipe.
Do not cover the bottom relief opening on the underside at the middle of the apparatus to avoid creating other flooding problems.
To protect your landscaping and garden before a hard freeze:
Water your plants the morning before the predicted freeze. Moist soil retains heat better than dry soil.
Put frost protection blankets on in the afternoon. Use a two-layer blanket system. First use an insulating layer against the plant. This can be a frost-cloth, a sheet, blanket or even an old tarp. On top of that put a layer of plastic.
Do not use plastic alone to cover plants as the plastic may freeze to the plants. A light bulb may also be placed under the sheets to give additional heat. Make sure to remove the plastic and the light bulb the next morning.
Be sure to uncover the plants the next morning before they overheat. If the freeze lasts for more than a day, just crack open the covers to let them breath during the warm part of the day.
Additional tips for a hard freeze – about 26 degrees (F) or below for more than two hours:
Bring pets indoors, especially at night when temperatures dip to their lowest.
Keep combustible materials at least three feet away from space heaters and never leave them unattended.
Install smoke detectors and remember to replace batteries every six months.
Avoid using flammable liquids to start fireplaces and do not leave a fire unattended.
The City of Tallahassee wants to ensure all residents know what to do when the forecast calls for a hard freeze or other inclement weather conditions. Customers can call 891 – 4YOU (4968) for utility service needs.
Source: City of Tallahassee