Officials urge South Florida residents to take cold weather precautions

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The wind was picking up in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday morning, making an already icy start feel even colder.

“I feel very cold. I’m not used to it at all,” said a South Florida resident. “I feel like I’m in New York or something.”

Some residents say Florida feels more like the Northeast, as some of the season’s cooler air leaves the Sunshine State shivering.

Bundled up people were seen along Lincoln Road Friday night with those eating out in Miami taking the chairs closest to the heaters.

Even New Yorkers who are used to cold weather seemed to be taken by surprise by this latest drop in degrees.

The recent cold front caused Broward County authorities to declare a weather emergency with dozens of people lining up outside the Salvation Army overnight seeking shelter.

Local 10 News spoke with Stacey Graham, who was seen donating coats, jackets and other outerwear to the less fortunate.

“I’m handing out some coats because it’s cold and I know they need them,” Graham said. “I just can’t sleep at night knowing there are people I can help.”

Officials are now urging South Floridians to take precautions, including monitoring children and the elderly, who are often the most vulnerable.

Authorities ask the public to bring their pets and potted plants inside and, of course, to be safe while heating your home.

“Protect your homes against fire, so take the time to inspect and prepare your heating equipment before using it,” said Erika Benítez of the Miami-Dade Fire Department. “Keep your portable heating units or any heating equipment at least 3 feet away from anything that can burn,”

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