Prepare for Hard Freeze Wednesday Night

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Baton Rouge (February 18) – The Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) is closely monitoring a hard freeze expected across much of the state beginning Wednesday night.  A freeze warning will be in effect from 3:00 am until 8:00 am Thursday.  Forecasters with the National Weather Service (NWS) say a reinforcing cold front will usher in very cold and dry air.  Temperatures will plummet into the mid 20’s along and north of the Interstate 10/Interstate 12 corridor.  Expect the lower 30’s in the river parishes and portions of the southern shore of Lake Pontchartrain. The freezing temperatures are expected to last several hours.  A freeze warning means subfreezing temperatures are imminent or highly likely.  These conditions can kill crops and other sensitive vegetation if protective actions are not taken.  Additionally, pets are also susceptible to the cold.  If pets cannot be brought inside, be sure to provide them with warm, dry shelter, sufficient food and unfrozen drinking water.

GOHSEP Director Kevin Davis urges residents to watch for advisories from local emergency managers, the media and the National Weather Service. “Remember to check on loved ones and neighbors who may struggle with frigid temperatures,” said Davis.  “Be careful when using alternative heat sources to deal with the falling temperatures.  Closely follow instructions for space heaters. Never use generators and outdoor heating or cooking equipment, such as a grill, indoors due to dangerous fumes.  Never heat a home with your stove.”

Emergency responders recommend the following precautions:

•             Monitor your local media, the NWS and Alert FM for any possible watches/warnings for your region.

•             Protect pets and plants

•             Keep space heaters a safe distance (36 inches) away from anything that can burn.

•             Wrap pipes to prevent them from bursting.

•             Wear proper clothing and keep exposed skin covered.

You can receive emergency alerts on most smartphones and tablets by downloading the new ALERT FM App.  It is free for basic service.   You can also download the new Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Guide and find other important information at www.getagameplan.org. The Get a Game Plan App is also available for download to your smart phones or tablets.