1. Media Center
  2. News & Updates

Be Prepared as the Cold Takes Hold

Published on December 29, 2017

image of thermometer

Huntsville is readying for bitter cold temperatures over the next five days, and the City is advising residents to be prepared and to be aware of where to turn for help.

“We enjoy mild weather most of the winter, but when the temperature drops this low, we all need to do our part to look after family, neighbors and pets,” said Mayor Tommy Battle.

The City is asking residents to check in on seniors and those most vulnerable during the frigid weather snap. Residents experiencing insufficient heat or those seeking access to warm shelter should call 2-1-1 for immediate assistance.

“2-1-1 is our primary resource to connect those in need to a network of services,” said EMA Director Jeffrey Birdwell. “The 2-1-1 call center is staffed 24/7 to help residents with a variety of basic human needs resources – food, shelter, clothing, rent and utilities assistance.”

Bitter cold temperatures can pose a serious threat to health and safety, everything from hypothermia to fire hazards.

“We are talking windchill temperatures in the single digits,” said Birdwell. “If you don’t have to be out, stay inside and stay warm. If you do venture out, limit your exposure and wear protective clothing. Dress in layers of loose warm clothing, and be weather-wise before you set out on the road.”

Huntsville Police officers, especially those on the overnight shift, will be heavily patrolling areas where homeless frequent to ensure they’re taking precautions against the cold.

Cold Weather Tips at Home

Huntsville Fire & Rescue does not recommend space heaters but recognizes they are popular methods of keeping warm. If a space heater is used, HFR says the unit should be UL certified and at least three feet from anything that could catch fire. Plug the heater directly into an outlet – not an extension cord – and don’t leave the heater unattended.

Huntsville Utilities encourages residents to check their pipes at home to ensure they are properly insulated and not exposed to freezing air. Don’t forget pipes in garages, too. HU recommends leaving the faucet, closest to where water service enters their residence, turned on with a pencil-point thin stream of water. Also, be sure to disconnect all hoses from any outside spigots. These measures may help prevent freezing pipes that can lead to very expensive repairs.