BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Temperatures are expected to drop in the next few days and people have started to brace for the cold.

Local leaders said you need to pay attention to the four P’s: People, plants, pets and your pipes.

“Once we get around 23, 22 degrees, that’s when people are going to call,” said American Plumbing Owner, Terry Smith.

Christmas is going to look a little different in the deep south with a visit from Jack Frost.

“Out of all the times broken pipes can happen, this week is the worst time,” Smith said.

To avoid a busted pipe, he said, there you prepare for the cold.

“If you have a shut-off valve outside of the house with the piping going up, make sure it’s wrapped. You have standard pipe insulation with an empty middle to wrap it around,” explained Smith. “It never hurts to go in and take some duct tape and wrap around just to kind of make sure it’s snug.”

Running your faucet can also save you from some holiday headaches.

“What you can do is run your water about this stream of a pencil point, turn on your hot and cold, because hot water freezes quicker,” he said.

If you’re traveling for the holidays, prep before you leave.

“You can take an air compressor and blow all the water out of the system. That way you can leave your water, and turn it off. You can go on vacation and not have to worry about it,” added Smith.

Along with your home, your pets require extra attention.

“In Louisiana, hypothermia and frostbite is not something we ever think about, but if your pets stay outside for long periods of time, that’s something that could definitely happen,” stated Emily Lemoine with Companion Animal Alliance (CAA).

She said the outside elements can be dangerous to animals big and small.

“If you have a really fuzzy dog or if it’s a lot of hair make sure you’re drying their paws off when they come back inside,” she explained. “If you do have pets that you keep outside that are going to stay outside, make sure that they have a shelter that’s a few inches off the ground with some warm shavings in it.”

CAA is also looking for weekend fosters to help lighten the load as the frosty weather sets in.

To make sure your plants don’t get frostbite, Peregrin’s Christmas Store and Florist owner, Peregrin Franklin recommends the following:

  • Take your small plants inside
  • Cover your outside plants with cloth and then a plastic cover
  • Keep them hydrated
  • Use a light lamp if you can