December 20, 2022

Single-digit temperatures and subzero wind chills are headed to Westlake by the end of the week. In fact, the coldest temps since February 2021 are coming our way. Now is the time to get prepared so we have several useful tips to help you navigate through the next few days.

Protecting Your Property

Protecting your home is also a necessity when it comes to these below-freezing temperatures. Busted pipes are the most common cause of damage during winter weather events like this. 

Below are some tips to help you navigate through the winter weather.

  • Copper and PVC pipes can crack or burst in freezing weather, so proper insulation is a must. In less severe freezing conditions, consider letting outside faucets drip, but they may need to be drained and their hoses disconnected in severely cold weather.
  • Extensive damage and water loss can occur when pipes burst in unoccupied or vacant buildings, so make sure to include these structures in your cold-weather preparations. Ensure the building remains heated to help prevent issues with freezing. It's no fun to come back and find water damage from a burst pipe!

In case you're wondering where and how to shut off your water and irrigation systems if a busted pipe occurs in your home, check out this video.

Energy Conservation Hints

Here are some winter safety and energy-saving tips from Atmos Energy. You can visit their website for even more information on conserving energy, keeping warm, and staying safe during winter weather.


  • Lower your thermostat to 68 degrees during the day and 58 degrees when you are away from home.

  • Lower your water heater temperature to 120 degrees or set your temperature dial to normal or medium. Water heating accounts for as much as 25 percent of the energy consumed in your home. 
  • Unplug electronic devices and turn off lights that are not in use. 
  • Reduce your shower time and take baths only when necessary. Showering and bathing can account for 40 percent of your home's hot water use. 
  • Operate your clothes washer, dryer, and dishwasher only when fully loaded. 
  • Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Leaving the damper open is like keeping a window wide open, warm air goes right up the chimney! 
  •  If you have a pool, do not use the pool heater. Instead, run your pool pump during the coldest part of the day to circulate the water and prevent freezing. 

Avoiding Hypothermia

These low temperatures we'll be experiencing can be life-threatening. In fact, hypothermia can set in before you even realize it. If a person's body temp is below 95° F, get medical attention immediately! 

If you are not able to get medical help right away, try to warm the person/yourself up by doing the following: 

  • Get into a warm room or shelter
  • Remove any wet clothing
  • Warm the center of the person's body-chest, neck, and head using an electric blanket, if available
  • You can also use skin-to-skin contact under loose, dry layers of blankets, clothing, towels, or sheets 
  • Warm drinks can help increase body temperature, but do not give alcoholic beverages
  • Do not try to give beverages to an unconscious person. After body temperature has increased, keep the person dry and wrap their body, including their head and neck, in a warm blanket
  • Get the person proper medical attention as soon as possible

Watch Out for Frostbite

As if hypothermia isn't enough to worry about, frostbite can also cause you major health issues as well. If frostbite sets in, would you know what to do? Below is a list of action items you can put into place to avoid permanent damage to your body. 

Stay Up to Date

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Bottom line, protect your pipes and faucets, turn off your sprinklers, cover your plants and flowers, and most importantly, bring yourself and your pets inside.

Cold weather is often short-lived in Texas, but with preparation and patience, you can prevent an injury and save time from dealing with property damage. If you have any questions at all, please call our after-hours emergency number at 817-490-5729.

Stay safe, Westlake! 

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1500 Solana Blvd., Bldg. 7, Suite 7200 | Westlake, TX 76262