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Wake County News > Posts > Take Precautions Against Cold Temperatures
January 06
Take Precautions Against Cold Temperatures
With forecasts of record low temperatures Monday and Tuesday, Wake County encourages the public to stay alert and be prepared for winter weather. ReadyWAKE! provides emergency preparedness tips on how to keep safe during the winter months.

Winter Precaution Tips
  • When driving, be aware of black ice and reduce your speed.
  • Watch for ice when walking on sidewalks to prevent falling or slipping.
  • Be alert to local weather conditions.
  • Set up a family communication plan.
  • Prepare an emergency kit. For a full list of what to include go to ReadyWAKE!
  • Teach family members how and when to turn off gas, electricity and water.
  • Wear several layers of warm clothing and make sure to keep dry.
  • Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia. Hypothermia symptoms include slurred speech, confusion, shivering that will not stop or a body temperature of 95 degrees Fahrenheit or below.

White Flag System

Wake agencies will also provide shelter for homeless individuals through the "White Flag" system due to low temperatures. The White Flag system is implemented when:
  • Temperatures are projected to be 32 degrees Fahrenheit or below any time between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  • During heavy or steady precipitation and the temperature is projected to be 38 degrees Fahrenheit or below between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.
The sites have an actual white flag displayed and are located in Raleigh at:

All men seeking shelter should first contact the South Wilmington Street Center for referral. Women without children should contact The Healing Place of Wake County. Women with or without children may contact the Raleigh Rescue Mission. The shelters will not turn anyone away even if they are at capacity during the White Flag implementation.

Contact South Wilmington Street Center Manager Frank Lawrence at 919-508-0718 for more information.


Pet Safety Tips
The following tips are provided to ensure pet owners are prepared. Visit our Pet Winter Safety page for more information.

  • Do not leave your pets outdoors unattended when the temperatures get below freezing (32° F).
  • If you are unable to allow your dog inside your home, consider allowing them in the garage at night and provide them with warm bedding.
  • If your dog must remain outside, make sure that they have shelter and adequate bedding (such as wheat straw) so that they can be kept warm. Check on them often.
  • Make sure all outdoor animals have water that is not frozen.
  • Do not leave your pets in your car on cold days.
  • After taking your pet outside, make sure to clean off their paws, legs and stomach. Any salt or de-icing chemicals that are swallowed by licking may make your pet sick.
  • Take pets out for bathroom breaks only.
For the complete emergency preparedness guide and to sign up for emergency alerts, visit readywake.com.





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