Residents encouraged to practice cold weather and fire safety
Santa Rosa County Public Safety urges residents to be prepared for the cold weather that will settle in late Thursday (Dec. 22) night through the weekend by remembering the 5 P's of cold weather safety. Santa Rosa County is under a hard freeze watch. Strong northwest winds are expected to follow in the wake of the front with winds currently forecast to gust frequently to 30mph or more through Friday, consider securing any outdoor holiday decorations. It will feel much colder with wind chill temperatures forecast to be in the single digits over almost the entire area on Friday morning. Similar conditions are expected Friday night into Saturday morning. Temperatures are expected to be at their coldest early Friday and Saturday mornings with some areas of the county dropping between the teens and 20s degrees.
- 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 elderly family and neighbors who are the most sensitive to cold weather. If the temperature cannot be maintained at a home, make temporary arrangements to stay elsewhere, including with friends and family.
- 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 dangerous temperatures.
- Protect Pipes: Cover pipes and allow outdoor faucets to slowly drip to prevent 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.
For more information, monitor local media and National Weather Service Mobile.
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Cold weather shelter open for extended hours
Thur., Dec. 22 through Mon., Dec. 26
Due to the expected daily cold temperatures, the cold weather shelter will open at 4 p.m. on Thur., Dec. 22, and will remain open 24 hours a day until 8 a.m. on Mon., Dec. 26. The cold weather shelter is located at Ferris Hill Baptist Church, 6848 Chaffin St. in Milton. Only service animals (with verification of rabies vaccination) are permitted to stay with guests. No one will be admitted after 8:30 p.m. unless brought in by law enforcement.
With the cold weather shelter adding extended hours over the Christmas weekend, volunteers are needed for overnight shifts. Overnight volunteers must be male or a husband and wife team. To sign up as an overnight volunteer, call Ferris Hill Baptist Church at 850-623-3500 and press 6.
Santa Rosa County's cold weather shelter is operated by Ferris Hill Baptist Church, utilizing volunteer resources and donations. It opens each night weather is forecasted to drop below 40 degrees, typically December through March. The shelter is 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 who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, unable to walk unaided or disoriented.
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