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Explaining the 4 Ps and how each is affected by the cold weather

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SAN ANTONIO - We talk about the 4 Ps all the time during cold weather. Pets, People, Plants and Pipes but I wanted to dig a little deeper and see when freezing temps really begin to affect them.

For instance plants and pipes. Temperatures at 32 degrees or below whether that cold air actually damages plants in your garden will depend on how low it goes, the species of plant, whether it is in a sheltered spot in your yard, and how long the low temperature lasts and many other factors. So the take away with plants is to know what your particular plants can take.

For pipes, I spoke to the experts at Jon Wayne Service Company and sat down with a trained plumber.

"We don't get really concerned about freezing temperatures until we see they're going to get down into the 20s, the low 20s, upper teens. That's when if we have temperatures like that for say 6 to 8 hours overnight we're going to have some problems with that,” explains Chris Chamrad, Plumbing Manager at Jon Wayne Service Company.

Chamrad also says leave your faucets running inside to keep water moving to the meters outside since they are completely exposed and to protect your water softener so it won't freeze.

As for People and Pets;

We all know that if you stay out in freezing temps for long you can literally freeze to death. But did you know it doesn't have to be near freezing to get hypothermia? Our body temperature, which is normally at 98.6, only needs to drop below 95 degrees. So extended time in even 50 degrees can drop your body temperature dangerously low.

And as for our furry little friends, some people think because of their fur they can take the cold more.

Amy Decontreras, Field Manager for ACS explains, "Every time we come in contact with citizens, I explain that we're cold and we're wearing jackets. And we're only out there talking to citizens for a short amount of time and we get a lot of citizens who say, 'Hey, it's too cold! Ya, it's too cold.' And if it's cold for you and you're in your jacket, just imagine how cold it is for the animal that's tethered out there."

Decontreras says leaving an animal out in freezing temperatures is a criminal misdemeanor and they will charge you! Bottom line no matter small or large dogs they cannot be left out without protection from the weather.

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