FrozenPipes JimmyJoe onFlckr - https://www.flickr.com/photos/joc67/318951722Winter weather in Alabama is unpredictable. It has been both unseasnably warm and cold! It is only a matter of time before the cold weather moves in to stay for a while. You can save yourself a lot of time, trouble and expense by being prepared.

One of the dangers - which is easily preventable - is frozen pipes. The American Red Cross provides this helpful information to get you ready:​

Pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also subject to freezing.

  • Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions.
  • Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas.
  • Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can also provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
  • When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
There are many more tips for protecting pipes, and also information about what to do if your pipes freeze, on the Red Cross website. ​If your pipes have frozen and you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
Image courtesy of Jimmy_Joe

"I've got a stray dog running around in my neighborhood. Who do I call to have it picked up?"

Have you ever had a reason to call the City of Montgomery about a problem with trash pick up, abandoned vehicles, noise complaints, stray dogs or cats in your neighborhood, etc., but just didn't know who to call? The City of Montgomery now has a 3-1-1 central call center to cover all calls relating to various city departments. If you have a question which can be handled without research, the operator will provide you a direct answer....if not, your inquiry will be forwarded to the appropriate department and you will be provided a case number so you can call in and get the latest status. In some cases, you may be contacted by an employee within the respective department if more information is needed. In most cases, if you try to dial the specific office directly, you will most likely be transferred to the 311 operator. So call 311 first !!!!!