Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Residents, Groups Brace for Big Freeze; State Forestry Authorities Issue "Red Flag" Wildfire Danger Warning Due to Dry Weather

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Residents, Groups Brace for Big Freeze; State Forestry Authorities Issue "Red Flag" Wildfire Danger Warning Due to Dry Weather

Article excerpt

Byline: Teresa Stepzinski, The Times-Union

BRUNSWICK -- Below-freezing temperatures in South Georgia prompted the Salvation Army in Brunswick to request donations of cold weather clothes and blankets Monday for distribution to the homeless and others in need.

"We've had an influx at the shelter of people wanting to get out of the cold," said Capt. Bernard Tolan, who suspected the organization's 18-bed emergency shelter might fill up Monday night.

"We need donations of clean blankets, coats, mainly for adult sizes; gloves, socks, mittens and toboggan hats," Tolan said. "We also could use good clean sleeping bags."

Donations can be dropped off at the Salvation Army, 1620 Reynolds St., he said.

The low temperature Monday ranged from 23 degrees in Baxley to 27 on St. Simons Island. Waycross, Nahunta and Alma all had a low of 25 degrees, according to National Weather Service meteorologists.

A hard freeze warning was issued for Monday night through this morning for most of South Georgia.

Possible record-breaking below-freezing temperatures were forecast Monday night throughout the region, meteorologists said.

Pet owners should take precautions to protect their dogs, cats and other animals from the frigid weather, said Marcia Stewart, director of Glynn County Animal Services.

"We're reminding people to please, please make sure their animals are cared for, especially if they are an outdoor animal," Stewart said.

Stewart said dogs should have a doghouse elevated off the ground. Pine straw or clean blankets should be placed inside to help the dog keep warm. The doghouse should have three sides providing shelter from the wind, and a door covering, she said.

A light bulb on an extension cord can serve as a heating lamp if there is enough room to use it safely, she said.

"They need to do whatever they can to keep their animals warm . . . People should put out extra food and make sure there is fresh, unfrozen water for their pets to drink," Stewart said.

If no doghouse is available, people can place their animal in a pet crate in the garage with the door open, she said. …

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