MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — With holiday travel underway this week, ALEA officials are preparing to have more troopers on the roadways ahead of what’s expected to be a very cold weekend.

ALEA Sergeant Jeremy Burkett says having enough fuel in your vehicle is one of the simplest but most important tips if you’ll be driving long distances. 

“But especially if you’ve got a lot of people in the vehicle with you or small children. That’s a situation you absolutely don’t want to put yourself in, where you’re stuck on the interstate and it’s 16 degrees outside and your vehicle runs out of fuel,” Burkett said.

He also says to keep warm blankets, jackets and a spare tire inflated in case you need to use it. While there will be extra troopers out, Burkett reminds travelers to do their part to stay safe.

“Take that opportunity now. Make preparations. That way, hey we want everyone to go see their family, enjoy the holiday season, enjoy Christmas, enjoy the new year, we just want you to make it home safely,” Burkett said.

Even if you won’t be traveling, there are still precautions to take ahead of the forecasted freeze. Jefferson County Emergency Management Officer Baylee Pope says to remember the four P’s: People, Pets, Pipes and Plants.

Check-in on friends and family to make sure they have heat. Keep outside pets and any plants you may have inside and make sure exposed pipes are drained and covered. Also, keep faucets dripping when it gets below 20 degrees.

“The biggest thing is that this is a level of cold weather that a lot of us here in the South are not used to. This is actually the coldest it will have been in the month of December in my lifetime. So this is something that we have to take some extra precautions that we don’t normally have to take,” Pope said.

Sgt. Burkett says troopers have noticed holiday travel seems to have started earlier this year. For those who plan to be behind the wheel over the next few days, have some patience while riding the road.