SUMTER, SC (Nov. 20, 2014) – An early debut of temperatures into the 20s and teens this week serves as a timely reminder for residents to protect themselves and others from cold weather’s potentially harmful effects.
Some things to keep in mind when temperatures dip to freezing, 32 degrees, or below:
- Cover up your extremities. Head coverings, in particular, and other cold weather clothing help protect your body from losing heat and reaching dangerously low temperatures.
- Stay hydrated. Like during hot weather months, it is important to consume enough water, especially if you are going to be exposed to cold conditions. Sixty-four ounces of water per day is recommended.
- Seek help if you or someone you know could be at risk. Residents in the city should call the Sumter Police Department at (803) 436-2700 or 911 in case of an emergency.
The Police Department and its officers also have in place programs to help protect the well-being of individuals within the city limits when Mother Nature shows her dangerous side.
Random Act of Kindness – In partnership with Walmart and other businesses, the project was initiated last December to provide homeless and transient residents with personal care items they may need along with a list of service providers they can contact for help. Officers throughout the year have available care packages they can hand out to individuals they encounter. The packages include hand warmers, nutrition bars and hygiene products. Officers also have available emergency blankets that can be distributed as needed. The service provider list includes the Samaritan House for shelter, Emmanuel Soup Kitchen, Salvation Army, United Ministries and state agencies, like the Department of Social Services, SCWorks and Santee-Wateree Mental Health.
Senior Call-in/Project CheckMate programs – For many years, the department has maintained a program to monitor the well-being of the city’s senior and vulnerable. Each morning, those
enrolled in the program call in to let the department know if they are fine. If not, an officer is sent to the residence to check. During last winter’s snow and ice storms, the department went even further by sending officers out to check on seniors and vulnerable adults in the community, many of whom were without power to keep them warm. Out of that effort, Project CheckMate was created and added to the senior call-in program for enrollees interested in regular at-home visits from officers the department has dedicated to the project.
Operation Hydration – When temperatures and heat indexes soar into the triple digits, officers have on hand cold, bottled water to those who need it. Bottled water also is being made available as temperatures head into the opposite direction.
For help or more information about cold-weather safety and available programs, contact the Police Department at (803) 436-2700.