Take care of neighbors in cold spells

Published 10:21 am Thursday, January 4, 2018

This is shaping up to be one of the coldest weeks in Kentucky so far this winter, with temperatures so frigid many small bodies of water are frozen over and health departments around the state are issuing warnings about the importance of protecting against the cold.

Unfortunately, temperatures are expected to dip even more next week, into the negative double digits in some parts of the state.

When temperatures are this low, it is important to take precautions, like bundling up, shielding young children from the wind and cold and properly warming homes to avoid freezing pipes.

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We would like to encourage some neighborly behavior in this times, as well.

When temperatures reach drastic levels of heat or cold, it is important to take the time to ensure our neighbors are protected. Whether it be an elderly person living next door or a homeless person we encounter on the street, take the time to help someone else be warm this week.

If you can, loan a space heater to a neighbor in need. If you know someone who does not have shelter from the cold, point them in the direction of one of the homeless shelters in our community.

If you know someone who is living without heat or does not have shelter, call 744-2111. Winchester Beacon of Hope Emergency Shelter opens their doors from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. to anyone. Winchester/Clark County Emergency Management/CSEPP is working with some churches to create warming centers for those who may be cold.

Don’t forget to take proper care of pets. If it is too cold for a human to sleep outside, it is too cold for an outdoor pet. If you notice a neighbor’s pet left out politely remind them of the dangers, or call animal control. If there are strays, consider putting together warming boxes or calling the animal shelter to pick up animals that might be in danger if left out in the cold.

While we will all be taking extra measures to stay warm in the coming days, let us not forget those who might not have the means to do so on their own. Refer your neighbors to the proper avenues of help and do the right thing by simply  checking on those who might be in need.