DOUBLE SPRINGS - Residents who may not have an adequate heat source or those who may lose power in the second round of wintry weather expected Wednesday afternoon, can find warmth and a place to lay their head at the Double Springs Municipal Building.
Double Springs Mayor Elmo Robinson confirmed Wednesday afternoon that the municipal building was open as a warming station for anyone who needs it.
“We’ve always used it as a warming center and a place for people to go after a tornado,” Mayor Robinson stressed.
The building features a large auditorium, where residents can go for cots and blankets. The facility also has a kitchen as well as restroom and shower facilities, he added.
However, due to the limited number of cots available (20), residents are urged to bring their own pillows, blankets, sleeping bags and other bedding supplies, officials said.
The warming center was open 24-hours-a-day beginning Wednesday afternoon throughout the uncertain duration of the next round of winter weather, which was forecasted to be a mix of rain, sleet and snow.
Mayor Robinson stressed some rules that must be followed by those using the warming center.
“We don’t allow any pets inside unless it’s a designated service animal,” said Robinson. “People need to be aware of that, so they can make arrangements for any kind of animal they have before they get there.”
Residents will be allowed to bring food to the warming station, but need to prepare their food in the kitchen area and clean up after themselves, town officials stated.
“Be respectful of the other person,” Mayor Robinson stated. Also, those entering the facility should wear a mask or facial covering and keep a six foot social distance between families, as the area is still under the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although the municipal building does not have a generator or back up heat source in case of a power outage, the facility is equipped with gas heat that would operate if the power went out, officials said.
Residents should bring their own light sources just case of an outage.
Residents needing to access the warming shelter can access through the front door, according to Robinson.
“We’re open and available to anyone that wants to come,” the mayor stressed. “Hopefully, the roads won’t get bad, but it is convenient for anybody around Double Springs to come.”
Resha Daugherty, municipal building director, stated the facility would be equipped with cots for at least the first 20 residents who come.
“I think it’s great the mayor is going to let us use it, because it has gas heat, and I hate for anyone to be freezing right now,” Daughtery said. “There is no sense staying home freezing.”
Winston County Emergency Management Director Jimmy Madison said he had received some calls during the first round of winter weather, from people asking where a warming shelter was located.
Madison can tell them that the central part of the county can use the municipal building.
The other warming center was set up at the Haleyville Community Safe Room just below the city hall in downtown.
“Hopefully we won’t get to that point, but it will be here available,” Madison said about the need for warming stations.
“Travel distance is going to be the biggest issue,” he said. “If roads get to the point we can’t travel a far distance, we have one (warming station) at Haleyville and one here.”
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.