Preparing for Colder Weather


By Ashley Thompson

Tonight is just the first of many cold nights as winter approaches. And as temperatures start to dip, Montgomery officials say they want safety to priority for people and pets.

Roland Smith Directs the Friendship Mission, a place that provides food and shelter for the homeless. He says the cold weather is driving more people to the shelter.

"We've seen an influx today," he says. "It started at about like 3 o'clock. They started coming in about 3 o'clock."

Having been homeless himself, Smith tells us the winter months are the most difficult for those who have no where warm to go.

"Cold nights are some of the most hardest out of all," he says. "People can pretty much make it during the summer time but winters are real cold."

And cold weather isn't just affecting people.

Lea Turbert with the Montgomery Humane Society says pets need to be brought inside.

"Maybe into a garage or to a laundry room," Turbert says. "If they can't, make sure that they have shelter, that they have a wool blanket, put hay out there."

And as cold fronts move in, people start to break out space heaters, a device that Lieutenant K.O. Jones with the Montgomery Fire Department says can be dangerous.

"You want to make sure that you keep your children, pets, any kind of combustibles or anything flammable three feet away from the space heater."

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fire deaths in Alabama. Jones says using extension cords with them is a factor.

"You want to avoid using extensions cords," he explains. "If you have to use an extension cord, we recommend that you use a heavy gage wire but we do recommend that you avoid the use of extension cords. Plug it directly into the outlet."



The Friendship Mission Homeless Shelter is accepting donations, especially blankets and coats during this time.


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