Alabamians prepare for cold snap - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Alabamians prepare for cold snap

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

We're used to freezing temperatures here in Alabama in the winter time, but it's pretty rare for us to see temperatures in the teens. With the temps dropping, the heat is being turned up and people are getting prepared.

At Allgas, a propane company, they have seen business double, particularly in the past two days as citizens gear up for next week. People are getting tanks filled and hoping to keep their homes warm.

"We are seeing a big increase in the amount of people," said Steve Robinson, who serves as the branch manager for Allgas in Montgomery. "We are staying real busy. Drivers out delivering gas to the houses and us filling cylinders here, it's an all day event. We expect them to continue coming in on a regular basis while it's cold."

Albert Chaney, a Montgomery resident, while talking about his propane tank said, "I don't want it to go out. You got to stay warm. It's cold, so you have to have some kind of heat."

The frigid forecast has some dreading the bitter cold.

"It doesn't even feel like Alabama anymore. It feels like New Jersey. It needs to get warm fast. I cannot deal with this," said one Montgomery resident we spoke to Friday.

"We're Alabamians. We don't play cold weather. We like warm weather," said another bundled up resident we caught up with.

"I've been shopping for winter coats and trying to find gloves. They're sold out everywhere for my son right now and he needs them," said Courtney Patton.

Meanwhile, local shelters continue to accommodate those who have nowhere to go, helping get them out of the dangerous elements.

"We get those individuals on the streets into our shelter so no matter what their background is, we try to set them up and give them a safe place to stay," said Jason Davis with the Montgomery Salvation Army.  

"On any given cold night, we always leave our doors open and we house as many as we can," added Ronald Smith with Friendship Mission.

Authorities are urging pet owners to take certain steps to protect our furry friends.

Montgomery County Humane Officer Scott Hill said: "When they don't have the proper warmth, it's really hard for them to fight off upper respiratory infections and other illnesses. If you're going to leave them outside,  they need to have a shelter that consists of three walls, a door and a roof. Make sure they have hay or blankets-something in there to keep them warm, keep their body temperature up." 

And for some people, the cold weather is costing them as they turn up the heat in their homes to stay warm and some may not be able to pay their bills.

For those who may fall into the gap of not having the means to pay their gas or power bill, spokespeople with Alabama Power and Alagasco say they won't turn off the service when temperatures dip significantly.

Sherry Goodman with ALAGASCO says when temperatures drop below 32 degrees they won't shut off anyone's service.

Goodman also added the company tried to work with customers who have difficulty paying their bill.

Ike Pigott with Alabama Power says the same.

Although there is no certain degree the company sets as a standard to keep the electricity on he said if the weather puts customers in danger, they will do what they can to make sure they're safe and warm.

The Alabama EMA is also encouraging people to prepare for dangerous winter weather.

Here are a few tips:

  • Dress warmly and wear loose layered attire
  • Have emergency heating equipment in case you lose power
  • Check on family/friends without a sufficient heating source
  • Use caution with heaters, fireplace and furnaces, making sure they are 3ft away from combustible items
  • Have a sufficient supply of emergency food and water for all family members
  • Wrap or insulate water pipes to prevent freezing
  • Bring pets indoors, move livestock to a sheltered area

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