FBC opens doors for cold night ahead

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 9, 2010

With temperatures continuing to drop into the teens every night this weekend, one local church is opening its doors to local residents.

First Baptist Church of Troy opened its doors to residents at 5 p.m. yesterday until 7 a.m. this morning and will open the doors again tonight at 5 p.m. until 7 a.m. tomorrow.

Debbie Chance, who is organizing the event, said the church has 25 cots for residents to sleep on.

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Chance said for residents who are seeking shelter to bring blankets and pillows.

“If you are homeless. We will buy what we need to,” Chance said.

Anyone who needs shelter can go to the FBC Activities Building, which is located on the corner of College and Cherry streets.

Chance said church officials have been talking about it since the first of the week, but they were waiting to see if the Red Cross or city of Troy were going to open up a shelter first, and when they didn’t they decided to go ahead with it.

“We thought this was a way we could serve the community, and we just stepped up to the plate,” Chance said.

The county EMA donated the cots and a generator.

“I would like to thank Sgt. Benny Scarbrough and Larry Davis for all they have done to help with this,” Chance said.

The weekend forecast by the National Weather Service in Birmingham calls for a sunny, but cold Saturday, with a high near 36 and a north wind between 10 and 15 mph.

Saturday night is expected to be clear, with a low around 16 and a north wind between 5 and 10 mph.

The Sunday forecast will be sunny, with a high near 40 and north wind between 5 and 15 mph. Sunday night skies will be clear with a low around 13 and northwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm.

In extremely cold weather conditions it’s important to remember power outages can come at any moment.

According to the CDC, if the power fails, many home will be too cold, either due to a power failure of because the heating system isn’t adequate for the weather.

When people must use space heaters and fireplaces to stay warm, the risk of household fire also increases, as well as the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The CDC also advises that exposure to cold temperatures can cause life-threatening or serious medical problems.

This especially applies to infants and older adults, but extremely cold temperatures can affect anyone.

The best way to protect yourself and loved ones is to plan ahead, the CDC says.

Keep a supply food that doesn’t require cooking or refrigeration such as bread, crackers, cereal, canned foods and dried fruits. If you have babies or young children make sure you have enough baby food and formula.

Water should be stored in clean containers or bottled water. It is recommended that 5 gallons per person be stored in case pipes freeze and burst. To help avoid pipes rupturing, leave taps slightly open so they continuously drip, keep the temperature inside your home warm and improve the circulation of heated air near the pipes. Opening the kitchen cabinets beneath the sink can do this.

Medicines, whether it be prescription or over-the-counter, should be readily available to anyone who needs them.