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Prioritize the 4 P’s throughout the cold weather in the Borderland


EL PASO, Texas - It's that time of year when cold weather can cause havoc on you and your belongings. From getting sick due to temperature changes to seeing your outdoor plants struggle during freezing nights, one must remember what the "4 P's" are and how to protect them throughout the coldest months.

The "4 P's" are as follows: pipes, pets, plants, and people. Here are ways you can protect each. Pipes- you must wrap all outdoor pipes that are exposed to the elements to prevent them from freezing and eventually breaking. There are many ways to do this, but you just need to put some kind of insulation around the pipe to prevent it from freezing. Insulation examples include a rag that is taped on, foam sleeves, or insulation domes or bags. You also want to make sure all water has been drained from each faucet before a cold night.

Pets are our lovely, furry friends, but for some households, pets are kept outdoors. The best advice to outdoor pet owners is that if it's too cold for you, then it's likely too cold for them as well. During the coldest nights, it's best to bring outdoor pets into the garage or into a room where they can stay warm and escape the elements. Don't forget to make sure their water hasn't frozen through, and provide them with some fabric (pet beds, blankets, towels) to keep their body off of the cold ground.

Next are plants- another thing that brings happiness to a home. For outdoor plants, it is important to wrap them up to prevent them from freezing and dying overnight. The plants that need covering are tropical or delicate trees, fragile flowers, and annual plants. Of course, depending on the freeze and how long the freeze lasts, that will have an impact on what types of plants will suffer the most damage and the type of damage that they receive.

The best way to protect plants is by giving them a nice thick blanket of mulch and a quick drink of water. That will make it more difficult for the soil to freeze and will help insulate the roots of the plant as well. Another way is to cover them with a blanket or sheet at night to protect them from frost.

Finally, protecting people is the MOST important. One must protect themselves and those around them from the elements. The best way to do that is to try to cover every bit of skin with clothing. Gloves are great for this, as are scarves, hats, beanies, jackets, socks, long sleeves and pants to help you achieve this goal. It doesn't hurt to have hot chocolate or coffee to add warmth. For those living outdoors in the elements, as many blankets as possible is a good idea, plus trying to get off the cold ground is another idea to keep as warm as possible. Good luck!

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Katie Frazier

Katie Frazier is an ABC-7 meteorologist.


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