Preparing for the Cold, What You Need to Know to Stay Safe - WSPA.com

Preparing for the Cold, What You Need to Know to Stay Safe

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Upstate agencies are preparing to cope with the cold because people aren't used to the chilly temperatures. Some shelters will stay open all night to help those without a place to stay or a way to find heat.

If you’re in this situation you can stop by Divinity Shelter in Spartanburg. The men's home offers food and a warm bed.

Families in need of a warm place to go can look for a white flag, which is a sign that a shelter has room inside.

Law Enforcement tells 7 On Your Side that they regularly transport people to shelters when temperatures dip down to single digits.

Scott Owens of Divinity Care Facilities said he will take as many men as he can fit.

“The cold will zap you in a hurry, especially when it gets below freezing. All the have to do is come in and knock on the door,” said Owens.

Without heat doctors say there's the threat of frost bite and hypothermia.

Spartanburg Regional Hospital said the cold brings more cases. Doctors tell us these can be deadly for people with diabetes heart trouble or the elderly on certain medications for these illnesses.

In case of an emergency the National Safety Council recommends keeping your car stocked with tools to battle bad weather.

They recommend getting a tune up spare tires. Also they say to carry a scraper and blankets. Officials say leave enough time for any ice to thaw on your windows.

The Spartanburg Humane Society tells 7 On Your Side not to forget your pet.

Experts said outdoor animals shouldn't remain in the cold for hours at a time without a shelter.

“There needs to be something underneath so you don't have the cold ground coming up,” said Angel Cox.

She recommends blankets and said straw can cut down on bacteria.

Beware of metal water dishes they can easily freeze and ask your vet about food with more protein.

“They need more calories to keep them warm,” said Cox.

The Salvation Army said they’re working on helping customers pay power bills and they’re asking for your donations for warm clothes and blankets.

Experts tell us those with mental illness and the elderly can't easily communicate that they're cold. They may also have more trouble getting help to warm up.

Doctors say don't ignore the signs of getting cold.

Look for pale skin and painful or numb extremities and watch for confusion and shivering.

If you suspect you may have frost bite or hypothermia, warm the area with warm water and see a doctor immediately.

See the Centers For Disease and Control website for more information

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