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With frigid air on tap, South Florida officials open shelters, activate cold weather response plans

South Florida officials activate cold weather plans with plunging temps in the forecast
South Florida officials activate cold weather plans with plunging temps in the forecast 01:48
An assortment of blankets that will be given to those in need. CBS 4

MIAMI -  It's going to get cold this weekend by South Florida standards.

Miami-Dade's Department of Emergency Management has some tips to help residents weather the chilly temps.

First, stay indoors as much as possible to keep healthy, safe, and warm. Make sure to check on friends, family members, and neighbors who are especially at risk from cold weather hazards: young children, older adults, and the chronically ill.

If you're going to be outside, they suggest dressing in multiple layers of loose-fitting clothing. Don't forget to wear a hat, scarf, and possibly gloves.

They said eating well-balanced meals will help you stay warm and avoid drinking alcoholic beverages, as they cause your body to lose heat more rapidly. Instead, they suggest drinking warm beverages like hot tea or hot chocolate.

Bring pets inside and out of the cold weather and heat your home safely. Those planning to use a fireplace or space heater should be extremely careful. Never use generators, charcoal grills, or gas grills indoors.

Officials with the Miami-Dade Fire & Rescue said residents should never use generators, charcoal or gas grills inside homes.

For those who use space heaters, they should ensure they are clear of any holiday decor.

For those who can't stand the cold, there is some good news. Warmer weather slowly returns to the area next week with highs climbing back above 70 degrees with relatively low rain chances.

Sun-loving South Floridians who enjoy the heat will have to deal with Saturday morning temperatures around 50 degrees with wind chills making it feel like it is in the 40s. NEXT Weather meteorologist Dave Warren said the chilly breeze will last all weekend, keeping highs in the upper 50s with lows each day in the upper 40s.

As a result, the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust has opened its shelters for the homeless population and activated its Cold Weather Emergency Plan.

In Broward, dozens of new blankets and additional items like socks and toiletries will be distributed to unsheltered homeless individuals to provide some warmth.

The county will activate two shelters, Hope South Florida on Andrews Avenue and The Salvation Army on Broward Boulevard, on Dec.  23 and 24 from 6 p.m. to 9 a.m.

The Broward County Sheriff's Office said it has gathered over 400 blankets that will be given to those in need.

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