State officials are urging residents and visitors to prepare for a potential widespread freeze event across all of North Florida and interior portions of Central and South Florida late Thursday night into Friday morning. The National Weather Service has issued Hard Freeze Watches and Warnings for Northwest Florida and the Suwannee Valley, with Freeze Warnings extending along portions of the Peninsula from Jacksonville to the Everglades. Durations of sub-freezing temperatures are expected to range from 2-4 hours across interior Central Florida and interior South Florida, with 4-10 hours of sub-freezing temperatures possible across all of North Florida, including the Florida Panhandle.
“The duration and intensity of these cold temperatures tonight will pose a danger to pipes, pets, agriculture and persons without adequate shelter or heating,” said State Meteorologist Amy Godsey. “Residents and visitors should prepare for a cold night and practice good judgment and fire safety when using heating devices tonight and early Friday morning.”
Floridians should remember the "Five P's" of cold weather safety. The “5 P’s” are: Protecting People, Protecting Plants, Protecting Pets, Protecting Exposed Pipes, and Practicing Fire Safety.
The following actions are important safety measures:
-Stay indoors and use safe heating sources.
-Be aware of the fire danger from space heaters and candles, keep such devices away from all flammable materials such as curtains and furniture, and install recommended smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
-Indoors: Do not use charcoal or other fuel-burning devices, such as grills that produce carbon monoxide. Install at least one carbon monoxide detector per floor in your home.
-Outdoors: Stay dry and in wind-protected areas.
-Wear multiple layers of loose-fitting, warm clothing.
-Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids.