Record lows expected, shelter open tonight

According to the National Weather Service in Mobile, a cold front will push through our area later today and bring lows in the 20s Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. Wednesday mornings low is forecast to be 27 degrees; the record for our area is 29 degrees. Citizens are urged to remember the five P’s of cold weather safety — protect people, protect pets, protect plants, protect pipes and practice fire safety.

A cold weather shelter for the homeless or heatless will open Monday, Nov. 17, and Tuesday, Nov. 18, nights at Ferris Hill Baptist Church located at 6848 Chaffin St. in Milton. Those who would like to stay at the shelter must arrive between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. No one will be admitted after 8:30 p.m. unless brought in by law enforcement. The shelter will close at 7 a.m. each day.

Santa Rosa County’s cold weather shelters are operated by local churches utilizing volunteer resources and donations. They open each night when weather is forecasted to drop below 40 degrees, typically December through March. The shelters are for people who are homeless or cannot maintain heat in their home, can care for themselves, and are not at risk to themselves or others. No one will be admitted to the shelter if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, are unable to walk unaided or are disoriented.

The five P’s of cold weather safety include:

Protect People: Remember to dress in layers and wear a hat and gloves. It is important to try to stay out of the wind and to stay dry. Also, remember to check on young children and the elderly family and neighbors who are the most sensitive to cold weather. If the temperature cannot be maintained at home, make temporary arrangements to stay elsewhere, including with friends, family or the cold weather shelter.

Protect Pets: If cold weather is in the forecast, be sure to bring outdoor pets inside or give them a warm shelter to stay in.

Protect Plants: Cover cold sensitive plants to protect them from the dangerous temperatures.

Protect Pipes: Cover pipes and allow outdoor faucets to slowly drip to prevent from freezing and breaking.

Practice Fire Safety: Use safe heating sources indoors. Do not use fuel-burning devices such as grills; they release carbon monoxide, which is a deadly gas. Also, make sure to use space heaters according to their instructions and be attentive to open flames. In the event of long-term power outages, be extremely careful when using generators, lanterns, gas powered appliances or when cooking on charcoal grills or gas grills. These appliances produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide which is a deadly, invisible and odorless gas that can cause poisoning in only a matter of minutes.  Equipment or appliances that produce carbon monoxide should never be used indoors. Opening doors and windows or using fans will not stop carbon monoxide build-up.

 

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