As temperatures are expected to drop into the mid-30s Wednesday night, cold weather shelters are being opened in Manatee and Sarasota counties.
For Manatee County, the Salvation Army, located at 1204 14th St. W., will open a cold weather shelter for men, women and families.
Check-in for the shelters begins at 6 p.m. and beds are available on a first-come first-served basis, said Kelly French, spokeswoman for the Salvation Army of Manatee County.
Entrance for the men’s shelter is located on the 12the Avenue side of the building, while the women’s entrance is located on 14th Street West. Men, women, or the head of a family interested in seeking shelter must be at least 18 years old and have a form of identification, French said.
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The National Weather Service predicts a low of near 36 degrees for Manatee and Sarasota counties Wednesday night. Thursday is expected to still be chilly, with a high temperature for the day near 65 and a low that night of about 42.
Temperatures are expected to return to the 70s Friday and continue warm through the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.
Sarasota County is also opening three locations that will serve as cold weather shelters for those in need.
For the northern part of Sarasota county, the Sarasota Salvation Army Center of Hope, located at 1400 10th Street in Sarasota, will open the front port at 4 p.m. Check-in is expected to start at 6:30 p.m.
The Venice and North Port area will have two locations. Grace United Methodist Church, located at 400 Field Ave., East in Venice will open its doors at 6 p.m., while the New Hope Community Church, located at 5600 S. Biscayne Dr. in North Port will open at 8 p.m.
In a release, Sarasota County government officials urged residents to make sure animals are not left outside in the cold.
French encouraged those who may still be outside overnight to do what they can to layer with blankets and clothes and stay out of the wind.
When it comes to heating homes during cold weather, Sarasota County fire officials advise caution, as the risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning increases due to improper use of heating devices.
"Never use propane or gas heaters indoors and be sure that electric space heaters are free from obstructions and are not located where they can be knocked over by children or pets," said Michael Regnier, Sarasota County Fire Chief in a release. "Never leave a lighted candle unattended, and always keep all flammable objects away from any heating devices."