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Nashville Fire Department and Office of Emergency Management Urge Caution during Weekend Winter Weather

Joseph Pleasant; Public Information Officer

Metro Nashville-Davidson County will experience dangerous temperatures and road conditions

Temperatures in Davidson County are expected to drop to dangerously frigid levels over the weekend of February 13-15.

The National Weather Service (NWS) forecasts patchy freezing drizzle, rain, sleet and temperatures to remain below or near freezing throughout the weekend into Presidents’ Day on Monday, February 15, 2021.

It is important you take precautions during the weekend both at home and when traveling along roadways.

For important safety information and weather updates sign up for the Metro Emergency Alert and Notification System. (MEANS). It is free to download.

Heating Safety:

  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
  • Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room.
  • Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month.

Driving Safety:

You should also be careful when traveling on roadways. Freezing rain, sleet, black ice, and fog are all hazards to be aware of when driving.

You can check current road conditions online on the Tennessee Department of Transportation Smartway Map.

If weather reports indicate icy conditions, consider staying off the roads until they are clear.

Black ice is highly transparent, so it is hard to see while driving.

Tips that may help if you get caught in areas of black ice:

  • Keep your steering wheel straight. If you turn the wheel, you have a better chance of sliding and losing control of your vehicle.
  • Do not brake. Braking causes the vehicle to slide, especially if you brake too hard.
  • Take your foot off the accelerator to reduce speed. It is best to let the car stop on its own if you have enough room in front of you.

Protect your Pets:

Prepare now for lost power:

Portable Generator Safety:

  • Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning from the toxic engine exhaust by operating your generator outside for proper ventilation.
  • Never refuel your generator when it is running. Let it cool down first.
  • Do not store fuel in a garage, basement or inside your home. Vapors can be released that can cause illness and are a potential fire hazard.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector inside your home to warn you in case of a gas leak.
  • Never hook up a generator directly to your home's electrical service or wiring. This can cause back feeding and poses a serious risk to Nashville Electric Service lineworkers.

The Nashville Office of Emergency Management’s Emergency Support Unit (OEM ESU) will conduct cold patrols throughout the weekend to make sure people needing shelter can get out of the cold.

During the cold patrols, OEM ESU Members will provide blankets, gloves, hand warmers and other care items to those who would like them.

Transportation to the Extreme Cold Weather Overflow Shelter or other sheltering options will be arranged for people who want to get out of the cold.

An Extreme Cold Weather Shelter will open Saturday, February 13, 2021 at the Nashville Fairgrounds.

The Extreme Cold Weather Overflow Shelter will open at 7pm Saturday at the Nashville Fairgrounds located at 500 Wedgewood Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203.

The shelter will remain open until Sunday at 7 am. People with pets are welcome at the Cold Weather Overflow Shelter.

The shelter is in the same complex as the Social Distancing and Isolation shelters at the Fairgrounds but in a separate building.

There will be signage for people to go to the correct entrance. (People who utilize the bus can access the shelter from Nolensville Road).

Volunteers are requested to call the Overflow Shelter Coordinator and ask whether there is space before anyone is dropped off at the shelter. Once capacity is reached at 250-300 people, people must seek shelter at Nashville Rescue Mission (which should be the primary destination).

We ask volunteers to time drop-offs after 7 pm to ensure that people can observe social distancing while waiting to get their COVID health checks.

Also, please ask people for symptoms before transporting them to the shelter and let them know that they will be asked to go to the Isolation Shelter if they display any symptoms at the shelter. People will then be given the option to get a COVID test and to remain at the Nashville Fairgrounds until they have test results. People will always be required to observe social distancing and wear a face mask.

More information about the Nashville Cold Weather Community Response plan, including future Extreme Cold Weather Shelter openings