Jan. 2, 2018
Shelters will open, community urged
to use caution in cold weather conditions
SARASOTA COUNTY -  A predicted drop in temperatures to the mid to low 30s has Sarasota County Emergen cy
Management officials reminding residents to be prepared and use caution both indoors and outside.

A cold front of arctic high pressure will build over the eastern U.S. and Florida with skies clearing on brisk northwest winds, with low wind chills possible Wednesday night and Thursday night. Well-below-normal temperatures will persist the remainder of the week.  
"When combined with breezy north winds, minimum wind chills will be in the low to mid 30s. It is important that the community prepare for colder than usual conditions by taking precautions to protect their homes, families and pets," stressed Sarasota County Emergency Management Chief Ed McCrane.

Sarasota County Emergency Management has coordinated with the  county's municipalities, the Salvation Army and faith-based partners to provide cold weather sheltering for those in need. The following shelters will be open.

North County
Salvation Army - Center of Hope, 1400 10th St., Sarasota.

The Salvation Army will conduct its normal cold weather operation plan Tuesday through Friday, which includes the front porch opening at 4 p.m., with intake expected to begin at 6:30 p.m.; the front porch will re-open at 4:30 a.m. and remain open until 5 a.m., when the welcome center opens.
South County
Grace United Methodist Church, 400 E. Field Ave., Venice, will open at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. A hot meal will be provided.

New Hope Community Church, 5600 S. Biscayne Dr., North Port, will open at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday and 7 p.m. Thursday.

Pets should not be left outside during the cold weather. Citizens who need to be outside overnight or during the early morning hours are encouraged to dress in several warm layers and limit skin exposure to the wind.

Fire officials advise citizens to use caution when heating their home, as the risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning increase during very cold weather due to the improper use of heating devices, so extreme caution is advised.

"Never use propane or gas heaters indoors and be sure that electric space heaters are free from obstructions and are not located where they can be knocked over by children or pets," said McCrane. "Never leave a lighted candle unattended, and always keep all flammable objects away from any heating devices."
For more information call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000 or visit the All Hazards website at www.scgov.net