BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Residents across the Panhandle are bracing for the coldest weather we’ve seen in many years. 

With temperatures well below freezing expected in several days, people are buying supplies at hardware stores to protect their homes. Stores are already running low on pipe insulators. 

“If you have any exposed faucets, anything outside make sure those are insulated,” Home Depot Assistant Store Manager Rutherford Bates said.

Bates said pipes underground are generally safe from the cold. But he said pipes in the attic are the most susceptible to freezing. 

“Typically when they freeze, they bust. Even metal pipes split,” Bates said. “So it is a huge deal because now you’ve got to deal with flooding in your home and you’ve got to replace all your plumbing. So it’s best to err on the side of caution.”

Experts also said if you’re traveling for the holidays, you may want to leave the water running at a trickle while you’re away from home. 

“Leave the water running if you can, even if you don’t have access to the faucet covers or anything, you can wrap them in t-shirts and duct tape,” Ace Hardware Owner Stephen Smith said.

Experts said pipes can also be covered with newspaper or cut-up pool noodles.

Smith also said if you leave home, you should leave the heat on at around 60 degrees. He also recommends draining pipes so water doesn’t freeze.