Several overnight shelters will remain open in Auburnand Rosevillethrough at least Monday to assist people who need warm places to stay during anticipated subfreezing temperatures.
On Thursday night, approximately 90 people took advantage of the centers, primarily through The Gathering Inn and the Salvation Army-Roseville. The Placer County Sheriff’s Department and other local agencies are providing outreach to let homeless residents know that the shelters are available.
“Placer County should be proud of the outpouring of support from local governments and organized volunteer groups,” said Rui Cunha, program manager of the county’s Office of Emergency Services. “Organized volunteer groups are vital to community readiness, and Placer County’s Gathering Inn, Salvation Army and Red Cross volunteers have demonstrated time and time again what this community can do when it is time to roll up your sleeves and pitch in.”
Countywill open an overnight warming center in Auburnfrom 8 p.m. tonight until 8 a.m. Saturday in the Club House at the Gold Country Fairgrounds, 1273 High St. If needed, that facility also will be open during the same hours Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights. The Red Cross is assisting by providing cots and bedding.
On Thursday night, no one used an overnight center Placer Countyset up at the county fairgrounds in Roseville. The county does not plan to open that center tonight, but could reopen it later in the weekend if it is needed.
The county also has offered to assist the Salvation Army if help is needed at its overnight drop-in center, 100 Lincoln St. in downtown Roseville.
Capt. Kris Potter said the Salvation Army center will remain open 24 hours a day through 8 a.m. Monday, and may stay open longer if the weather remains unusually cold. He reported that 22 people stayed at the center for at least part of Thursday night.
The Gathering Inn, a faith-based organization that operates nomadic shelters throughout the winter in Placer County, will have additional capacity throughout the weekend to handle increases in the number of people who need shelter.
Gathering Inn officials reported that they sheltered 19 people in Auburnand about 50 in RosevilleThursday night. They anticipate having the capacity to being able to accommodate everyone who approaches them needing a warm place to stay.
People who want to stay at The Gathering Inn’s shelters are asked to be at its normal welcoming centers at :
11510 C Ave.
at the DeWitt in Auburnby 4:30 p.m. each afternoon; and
- The Gateway building, 201 Berkeley Ave., in Roseville, by 6 p.m.
For more information about The Gathering Inn, call (916) 791-9355.
Countyofficials do not anticipate having to open a facility at Lake Tahoe, but have made contingency plans in the event that such a facility is required.
“Residents and visitors need to be aware of the dangers of extremely cold weather and take necessary steps to stay warm and safe," said Dr. Richard J. Burton, Placer County Public Health Officer. "The community is coming together to offer places where residents can get out of the cold. We urge everyone who needs a place to stay warm to utilize these available resources. We also ask that people look out after family members, friends and neighbors who may be medically fragile, elderly or ill."
In addition to taking precautions for family members, public health officials are reminding residents that pets will likely need assistance, especially if they are kept outside.
Animal Services is prepared to take pets of individuals who are being sheltered at any of the centers in the county. Individuals will be asked to take their pets to the warming shelters and warming shelter staff will coordinate transportation for the pets from the warming shelters to animal shelter facilities.
The National Weather Service is predicting a cold front from Alaskawill bring very cold weather through Sunday, and has issued a freeze watch for sustained, below-freezing temperatures overnight Friday and Saturday. Lower elevations will see overnight lows in the teens and low 20s. Lows in the Sierra are predicted to be near zero.
With neither significant amounts of precipitation expected nor high winds predicted, the county Officeof Emergency Services is not expecting power outages. However, both Placer County Health and Human Services and the OES are advising residents and visitors to be prepared. Precautions include:
1) Preparing your home and family:
- Review and update your family emergency plan.
- Replenish your emergency supply kits, including battery-operated radio and flashlights.
- Have extra blankets on hand.
- Have a plan for meeting the needs of infants, children, seniors and those with disabilities.
- Winterize your house, barn, shed or any other structure that may provide shelter for your family, neighbors, livestock or equipment. Clear rain gutters; repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on a house or other structure during a storm.
- Move family pets indoors or to an enclosure out of the elements. Likewise protect livestock or other large animals from the cold weather.
- Move plants indoors or cover with blankets or plastic to prevent freezing.
- Maintain a sufficient supply of heating fuel.
- Insulate pipes and allow faucets to drip during cold weather to avoid freezing.
- Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
- Do not bring heating devices into the home that are intended for outdoor use , such as barbecues and other cooking equipment or other fuel-burning devices. These items can produce deadly carbon monoxide.
- Learn how to shut off water valves in case a pipe bursts.
- Hire a contractor to check the structural ability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow or water, if drains on flat roofs do not work.
2) Dressing for the Weather:
- Wear several layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.
- Wear mittens, which are warmer than gloves.
- Wear a hat.
- Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.
3) Traveling with caution:
- Have your car winterized and make sure it is working properly.
- Install good winter tires. Make sure the tires have adequate tread.
- Augment your car’s emergency supply kit with a shovel, windshield scraper and blankets.
- Maintain at least a half tank of gas during the winter season.
- Check road conditions before departing.
- Let others know of your route and your estimated time of arrival.
4) Recognizing symptoms of exposure:
- Confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and shivering are signs of hypothermia. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
- Gray, white or yellow skin discoloration, numbness or waxy skin are symptoms of frostbite. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.
- In the case of overexposure to freezing temperatures, remove wet clothing and immediately warm the body with a blanket or warm fluids like hot cider or soup. Avoid caffeine or alcohol.