SARASOTA COUNTY — A predicted drop in temperatures to the mid-30s has Sarasota County Emergency Management officials opening three shelters, as well as reminding residents to be prepared and use caution both indoors and outside.
“Temperatures are projected to drop rapidly, and the National Weather Service has issued a wind chill advisory until 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 22. 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 and Charlotte County Emergency Management have coordinated with the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army to provide cold weather sheltering for those in need. The following shelters will be open at 6 p.m. today at the following locations: New Hope Community Church, 5600 S. Biscayne Drive, North Port; Center of Hope, 1216 E. Venice Ave., Venice; and Salvation Army-Center of Hope, 1400 10th St., Sarasota. Additionally, 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 homes because the risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning increases during very cold weather due to the improper use of heating devices. “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,” McCrane said. “Never leave a lighted candle unattended, and always keep all flammable objects away from any heating devices.”
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