Palm Beach County & Treasure Coast cold weather shelters - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Palm Beach County & Treasure Coast cold weather shelters

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (RED CROSS) - Cold temperatures across Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast has prompted the American Red Cross, in partnership with local Emergency Management Officials, to open the following cold weather shelters:

  • West Gate Community Center — 3961 Oswego Avenue, West Palm Beach
    Hours: 7 p.m. – 9 a.m.
  • West County Senior Center — 2916 State Road 15, Belle Glade
    Hours: 7 p.m. – 9 a.m.
  • American Red Cross, Martin County Chapter — 2750 S. Kanner Hwy, Stuart
    Hours: 7 p.m. – 6 a.m.
  • American Red Cross, Okeechobee Branch — 323 N. Parrott Ave, Okeechobee
    Hours: 8:30 p.m. – 8:30 a.m.

All shelter locations are in partnership with each counties respective Emergency Management Agencies. These partnerships call for the Red Cross to staff and support shelter operations because of the organization's technical knowledge and volunteer capacity. 

Local Red Cross volunteers trained in nursing, mental health services, feeding and mass care/sheltering will be on-site throughout the evening to support our community.

There is no charge for staying at the cold weather shelters. Shelter residents may not bring illegal drugs, alcoholic beverages, any weapons or pets to a cold weather shelter. Individuals needing transportation to the shelters should contact 211 or to (866) 882-2991.

Last week, the local Red Cross sheltered a total of 190 area residents from the cold weather at four shelter locations in West Palm Beach, Belle Glade, Stuart and Okeechobee.

In Indian River County, the Red Cross will be supporting a shelter at The Source in Vero Beach providing volunteer assistance.

Cold weather safety tips:

  • Mittens provide more warmth to your hands than gloves.
  • Make sure you're wearing a hat that covers your ears.
  • Dress in layers so you can remove a few layers if you get too warm.
  • Recognize the signs of hypothermia –- confusion, dizziness, memory loss, drowsiness, exhaustion, severe shivering, and slurred speech.
  • Get out of wet clothes immediately and warm the core body temperature with a blanket.
  • Drink warm fluids like hot cider or soup while avoiding caffeine or alcohol.
  • Follow your doctor's order regarding any strenuous exercise outside if you have cardiac problems or high blood pressure.

Fire safety tips:

  • General Safety: Keep flammable items at least three feet away from anything that gets hot. Never smoke in bed. Keep matches and lighters away from children.
  • Cooking: Keep flammable items like towels and clothing away from the stove.
  • Portable Heaters: Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and get training from the fire department on how to use it. Keep blankets, curtains, furniture and other flammable items away from heaters. Plug heaters directly into a wall socket and unplug when not in use.
  • Electricity: Never overload electrical outlets. Avoid running cords under carpet and furniture.
  • Smoke Alarms: Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including sleeping areas. Test and dust smoke alarms monthly, change the batteries yearly. Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.
  • Fire Escape Drills: Make a fire escape plan with two exits out of every room. Practice your plan twice a year. Identify an outside meeting place to gather after escaping. Teach children that firefighters are their friends who can help.
  • In Case of a Fire: Follow your escape plan. Crawl low under smoke. Feel closed doors; if the door is hot, use your second way out. Go to your outside meeting place and then call for help. Remember to GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL 9-1-1.
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