The city of Rosenberg’s Emergency Management Team is busy preparing the City’s buildings and facilities for the extremely cold weather over the next week and is asking residents to do the same. When the temperatures drop below freezing, residents are encouraged to prepare their homes to avoid damage to water pipes, sprinkler systems, and swimming pools. Residents should follow the four “P’s” of winter weather safety: People, Pets, Plants and Pipes!

PEOPLE: Keep your family warm and check on any elderly family or neighbors that may need extra blankets, help winterizing their homes or a warm place to stay. Dress in layers; gloves and hats will help prevent losing your body heat. Avoid outdoor activities if possible. Walk carefully on snowy or icy walkways. Always keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines. Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. On icy roads, drive slowly and increase distance required for stopping.

PETS: Dogs and cats get cold, too. Bring pets indoors. If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm. Use a heat lamp if possible, but use with caution. Heat lamps can become a fire hazard if placed too closely to a flammable object such as hay or bedding. Keep adequate food and water available. Make sure their water is fresh and not frozen.

PLANTS: Cover delicate plants to keep them warm at night. Bring potted plants inside or store in a garage near an interior wall to provide extra warmth and protection from the cold and wind.

PIPES: Wrap exposed pipes to prevent freezing and breaks. The most common places for water to freeze are areas where water pipes are closest to outside exterior walls. This could be where the water service enters the building, or where water pipes connect to sinks adjacent to exterior walls. Locate the main water shut-off valve to your house now so you can easily find it and cut off water in the event a pipe should burst. If a pipe does burst, call a plumber to repair the water pipe. Disconnect outdoor hoses, then drain and store them in a protected area. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing, but be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children. Keep garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage. Don't forget about your sprinkler systems and pools, too!

The American Red Cross also offers great reminders for those who might be using a space heater or a fireplace to keep warm this winter. Remember the three feet rule. If you are using a space heater, place it on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable (things such as paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs) at least three feet away and always use with supervision. Turn off space heaters before leaving the room or going to bed. If you are using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks or rolling logs. Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Your heating bill may be a little higher but you could avoid a more costly repair job if your pipes freeze or burst. The kitchen is for cooking - never use a stove or oven to heat your home. Use generators outside only and never operate a generator inside the home, including in a garage. Don't hook up a generator to the home's wiring. The safest thing to do is connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator.

For more information, visit the City’s website at or call Customer Service at 832-595-3400.