AUSTIN (KXAN) — With an impeding freeze and many expected to travel this holiday season, residents are advised to take steps to prepare their homes and apartments. Here are some tips from Austin Water on how to best protect your pipes and care for your homes while away for the holidays.

Seal leaks, keep out cold air

Residents are advised to tightly close all doors and windows and repair any broken or drafty areas in your home. If there are any leaky regions in basements and crawl spaces, those need to be healed as well.

If you have a garage, keep the doors firmly closed throughout the duration of the freeze.

Turn off outdoor faucets

Residents are advised to remove any connected hoses to their outdoor faucets and wrap them with towels or a Styrofoam insulator to protect them from the elements. They’re also recommended to turn off and drain any automatic sprinkler systems.

It’s also suggested to find the water main shutoff valve and clear any debris or obstacles from it. Most home’s shutoff valve is on the side of the water meter at the meter box, Austin Water officials said.

With renters, they’re asked to contact their property managers for help finding the shutoff valve. Some city-run shutoff valves in the meter box require a water meter key to access it, which residents can purchase from most hardware stores.

Austin Water operates a 24-hour emergency hotline in the event of a water emergency, which residents can access by calling (512) 972-1000 and selecting “Option 1.”

Open cabinets, drip faucets

You should open the cabinets beneath both kitchen and bathroom sinks to help keep pipes warm. In the event of a power outage, you should drip water from one faucet.

Before leaving town, you should turn off water at your home’s water meter and set the temperature to 65 degrees or warmer to prevent any internal freezing in your home.