PETAL, MS (WDAM) - It’s important you make the appropriate preparations ahead of the winter weather.
Jessica Bowman sat down one on one with Chief Meteorologist Nick Lilja about preparation while another expert lended his advice on what you need to do now, before the temperatures drop.
“With all the cold air that’s expected, we anticipate some spots of the Pine Belt to be down below freezing for 12, maybe even up to 14 or 15 hours," Lilja said.
“As far as inside your house, you need to make sure you have enough heat. Sometimes if it gets as cold as it’s going to you need a little extra supplemental heat,” said Ace Hardware Store Manager Kenneth Laird.
Small electric heaters can help keep your home warm. Laird said it’s better to spend a little money now, than be left with pricey repairs.
“You need to make sure your faucets are covered. You can use a little foam cover or a hard shell cover,” Laird said.
And keep in mind how long the cold temperatures will last.
“When it’s going to be below freezing for 12 or 14 hours or maybe even 24 hours, you need to make sure you have adequate pipe insulation on anything that’s exposed,” Laird said.
Don't forget about your tender vegetation.
“Your shrubs, like azaleas, if they freeze they probably won’t bloom," Laird said. "You can put a little plastic on those, whether it be plastic tarps or bed sheets, you need something to keep the snow and frost off of your tender plants.”
“It’s not just the cold, it’s the wind too," Lilja said. "We talk about that feels like temperature. That temperature will be down to 15 or 20. Now, why pipes and plants can’t feel things, they do react the same way to a very strong wind, which means the water inside your pipes can freeze that much faster and your plants unfortunately can freeze that much faster too.”
It’s also important to protect your pets from the cold conditions and check on the elderly.