Watch Your Pipes Tonight!

Decades ago, I had a house that flooded due to frozen pipes. It wasn’t pretty, but it was expensive. So this warning goes out to all those residents who may still be working on flood repairs and don’t yet have insulation back in place.

ALERTHOUSTON Freeze Warning Issued for Houston from Midnight – 9 AM Tuesday

Weather Information The National Weather Service has issued a Freeze Warning for Houston from midnight to 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 5. As of 6PM, Monday, NWS predicts temps in the City could go down to 27 degrees.

In northern counties, though, the situation is more severe. Temps could fall below freezing by 9PM and go as low as 24 along a line from Brenham to Livingston.

A Freeze Warning means sub-freezing temperatures are highly likely. Cold weather can pose a danger to the health and safety. Proper care should be taken to reduce exposure to these conditions.

Protective Actions

When cold weather occurs, Houstonians should remember to protect the Four ‘P’s: People, Pets, Pipes, and Plants.


  • Dress in warm, layered clothing, including gloves, a coat, and a hat when you are outside.  
  • Never leave children or the elderly in vehicles during cold weather, as they can act as refrigerators and expose anyone inside to sub-freezing temperatures. 
  • Never use a generator, grill, camp-stove, or any gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning device to heat your home (or any enclosed area). These devices can generate carbon monoxide, which cannot be seen or smelled, but is deadly. 
  • Check on family, friends, and neighbors who may be susceptible to this week’s cold weather and/or not have access to housing and heating, including the elderly and those with special needs.
  • The Coalition for the Homeless is coordinating information for partner agencies and the general public and is keeping an updated list of those resources for individuals who may be experiencing homelessness:


  • Protect your pets by ensuring that they have a warm, safe place to sleep. The best place for a pet to sleep is in a heated environment.
  • Do not shave your dog down to the skin in winter.  A longer coat provides more warmth.
  • Never leave your animal in a car during cold weather. Cars can act as refrigerators in the winter, holding in the cold and causing animals to freeze to death.
  • For more cold-weather tips for pets, visit the ASPA’s ‘Cold Weather Safety Tips’ webpage:


  • During cold weather, pipes may freeze and rupture, causing water leaks and damage to your home. Protect your home by opening the cabinets under kitchen and bathroom sinks to allow air from your home’s heater to warm the pipes under the sink. 
  • Insulate outdoor faucets and pipes with insulation or newspaper, and be sure to disconnect and drain hoses from outdoor spigots.


  • Protect plants from freezing by covering them with plant-cover fabric, or a light blanket with plastic sheeting on top of it.
  • Bring in potted plants or group them together, near the edge of a building. Remember that soil in containers can get just as cold as the air temperature, and cause the roots to freeze, even if the above-surface leafs survive.

Sign Up for Alerts

AlertHouston is the City of Houston’s official emergency notification service. For updates on this situation, visit

To sign up for alerts, visit

Some Personal Advice

After having my pipes freeze once, I never wanted it to happen again. So I set my faucets to drip at a slow rate whenever we get a hard freeze warning like this. Remember, hot water freezes before cold, so it’s most important to drip your hot water faucets – if you are going to do it. This is counter-intuitive. It’s like something out of Roswell. But it’s real. It’s called the Mpemba Effect. I’m sure all of the science classes in the Humble ISD will be buzzing about this tomorrow. In the meantime, good luck tonight.

Posted by Bob Rehak on March 4, 2019

552 Days after Hurricane Harvey