NOLA residents encouraged to prep for winter weather ASAP

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NEW ORLEANS — The City of New Orleans, Sewerage and Water Board, and Entergy New Orleans today are providing an update on winter weather preparedness and encourage residents to take precautions for freezing temperatures early next week.  

At this time, freezing temperatures remain the primary threat to the New Orleans area, with a hard freeze expected to occur overnight Monday lasting into Tuesday morning. A small amount of wintry precipitation could be possible in non-accumulating amounts Monday evening;  however, the more likely concern for ice is that any standing water remaining from Monday’s rainfall may begin to freeze overnight. 

Public Safety and Infrastructure Agencies Make Preparations 

The New Orleans Fire Department encourages residents to heat their homes safely. A leading cause of residential home fires during winter months is unsafe heating, including locating a space heater close to flammable items and using a stove as a heat source. 

The New Orleans Health Department is coordinating with local homeless providers to ensure adequate sheltering capacity is available to residents in need of shelter. The citywide freeze plan will be in effect to provide temporary shelter for homeless residents overnight tonight and beginning Sunday night through Wednesday morning. 

Residents are encouraged to call the New Orleans Police Department non-emergency number (504-821-2222) if someone is in need of shelter. Individuals needing shelter will be accepted, free of charge, at the following locations under the following conditions: 

  • The Salvation Army, 4530 S. Claiborne Ave., will accept adults beginning at 4 p.m. 
  • Ozanam Inn, 843 Camp St., will accept men beginning at 6 p.m. for overnight shelter. The courtyard with heaters is open 24/7 to anyone. 
  • Covenant House, 611 N. Rampart St., will accept individuals age 22 and under, their dependent children, and any women with dependent minor children. Open 24/7. 
  • New Orleans Mission, 1130 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., will accept adults beginning at 4 p.m. 
  • Please note that the Low Barrier Shelter will not be open tonight due to construction. 

Residents Encouraged to Prepare for Freezing Temperatures 

Residents are encouraged to take precautions to protect the four “Ps” during freezing temperatures: people, pets, pipes, and plants.

STAY WARM 

  • Stay inside in heat during extreme cold. 
  • If you go outside, wear layers, a hat, and gloves and carry a cell phone. 
  • Check on neighbors, children, and the elderly and chronically ill to make sure they are okay. 
  • Bring pets inside. 
  • Cover plants with a blanket to protect from a hard freeze. 

PRACTICE FIRE SAFETY & PREPARE YOUR HOME 

  • Never leave space heaters unattended. 
  • Never use a stove or an oven to heat your home. 
  • Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to be sure they are working. 
  • Have a fire extinguisher and know how to use it. 

PROTECT PIPES FROM HARD FREEZE 

  • Insulate your exposed pipes by wrapping them with foam, rubber or fiberglass sleeves. You can also use rags or newspaper. Be sure to wrap the pipes with at least an inch of those materials, then cover them with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to keep them dry. 
  • Open the doors to cabinets where your pipes are located to allow heat from the rest of the building to warm them. 
  • Open interior doors to allow heat to pass from room to room. 
  • Disconnect garden hoses. 
  • When the outdoor temperature approaches 32 degrees, turn on the indoor faucet farthest away from your water meter. Run only one faucet with no more than a trickle or water, about as thin as a standard strand of spaghetti, to minimize the chance of water freezing in your pipes. 
  • Do not run more than one faucet, and do not run any faucet at full blast. It is unnecessary and can be expensive for customers. It can also contribute to lower water pressures across the city, risking the potential for a precautionary boil water advisory. 
  • Once temperatures climb above the freezing point, be sure to turn off your taps. Running them at temperatures above 32 degrees does not protect your pipes in any way. 
  • Should a freeze break a pipe or cause a leak, call a licensed plumber immediately. Turn off and drain the water in your house. To do this, locate the main water line from your water meter. There should be a valve where that line enters your house. Turn it off. Then run all your indoor faucets to drain water from your pipes. Disconnect garden hoses and hoses to your washing machine. It is important you contact your plumber as soon as possible. 
  • Watch this video: www.swbno.org/About/FightingTheFreeze 

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