MIAMI – As the cold front was sliding in on Friday night, the outdoor propane heaters lined up at restaurants on Miami Beach’s Lincoln Road.
Erika Benitez, a spokeswoman for Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, warned that heating devices increased the risk of fires.
“Take the time to inspect and prepare your heating equipment before using it,” Benitez said. “Keep your portable heating units or any heating equipment at least three feet away from anything than can possibly burn.”
Pedestrians in South Florida should also beware of cold-stunned iguanas falling from trees on Friday night and Saturday night when a blast of cold air will prompt wind chill values in the upper 30s early Sunday morning and upper 40s early Saturday morning.
Authorities in Miami-Dade and Broward counties were working to shelter the homeless population. The cities of Miami and Fort Lauderdale issued a “cold weather emergency.”
The agricultural sector was also preparing to protect their crops from the possibility of frost damage. Water department crews were also on standby amid concerns that the cold temperatures may put stress on older pipes.
The cold blast is short. The temperatures should gradually start to warm up on Sunday and return to the 70s by Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday and Tuesday.
Extreme cold safety tips
- Stay indoors during the worst part of the extreme cold.
- Learn how to shut off water valves for potential pipe bursts.
- Check on the elderly.
- Bring pets inside.
How should I dress?
- Wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing, and a hat.
- Mittens, snug at the wrist, are better than gloves.
- Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from extreme cold.
- Try to stay dry and out of the wind.
Source: The National Weather Service