The County of Sonoma has extended its freeze warning until Sunday, Dec. 18 in response to the National Weather Service’s prediction of sub-freezing temperatures through the weekend. Originally, the county had issued a warning of potential sub-freezing temperatures from Dec. 8 through Sunday, Dec. 11, which was extended to Wednesday, Dec. 14. Officials recommend that residents limit time outdoors, as serious medical conditions including hypothermia and frostbite can develop with prolonged cold weather exposure through Sunday morning. Individuals who are unhoused or have inadequate heat at thier residence are encouraged to move to their nearest shelter or warming center, if possible.
In response, the City and County of Sonoma will open the Extreme Weather Warming Center at the Sonoma Veterans Memorial Building through Sunday morning. Anyone wishing to use the warming center should arrive between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. and will not be readmitted if they choose to leave the center before 9:00 a.m. The warming center is temporary and not an overnight shelter.
Warming center details:
Sonoma Veterans Memorial Building
126 1st St W. Sonoma, CA 95476
Today 7:00 pm – 9:00 am Sat. Dec.3
- Masks are required to be worn at all times.
- No television or radio will be available, but visitors may bring, charge and use their own devices.
- Light snacks and beverages may be provided.
- Food that is ready to eat is permissible; kitchen access will not be available.
- The City and County of Sonoma or it’s contractor(s) will not be responsible for lost or stolen items.
- Visitors must comply with the City’s Standards of Behavior/Code of Conduct.
Additional Shelters / Warming Centers in Sonoma County
- Reach For Home – located at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 209 W. Matheson St. in Healdsburg. Check-in is from 6 to 9 p.m. Limited dinners are available at 6 p.m. Guests must check out by 7 a.m. The shelter is open to adults and families.
- Petaluma Fairgrounds, Beverly C Wilson Center, 175 Fairgrounds Drive, Petaluma. Open through the morning of Dec. 15, 8 p.m. to 9 a.m. Light snacks, coffee, and tea will be served. Community members will need a COVID Test and be required to wear a mask.
- Social Advocates for Youth Dream Center, 2447 Summerfield Rd., Santa Rosa. Age restricted to 18- to 24-year-olds. Call the crisis line before 5 p.m. (1-888-729-0012) to reserve a spot or drop in at Coffee House Teen Shelter before 5 p.m. to reserve a spot (1243 Ripley St. Santa Rosa). After reserving a spot, youth must arrive at Coffee House Teen Shelter between 6 and 7 p.m. for transportation to Dream Center.
For the most up-to-date information about warming centers around Sonoma County visit: https://socoemergency.org/emergency/extreme-cold/
Prolonged exposure to freezing temperatures can lead to hypothermia, a medical emergency that causes a dangerously low body temperature and can be fatal if untreated. Symptoms of hypothermia include confusion, dizziness, exhaustion, severe shivering, clumsiness, slurred speech or mumbling drowsiness, weak pulse, slow, shallow breathing and progressive loss of consciousness. Seek medical attention if you experience these symptoms.
Additional cold weather safety tips include:
- Drive slowly and be on the lookout for hazardous road conditions including slick pavement, possible ponding on roads and freeway off-ramps and minor flooding in low-lying or poor drainage areas.
- Unsheltered community members, older adults, children and those with access and functional needs should seek shelter now as they are at higher risks of hypothermia.
- Avoid being outside during the coldest part of the day or for extended periods of time in extreme cold weather.
- Dress in layers, wear a hat, scarf, gloves and mittens, and waterproof, insulated boots to avoid hypothermia or frostbite.
- Get out of wet clothes as soon as possible to reduce the risk of hypothermia.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water with electrolytes.
- Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol and non-prescription medication if you will be staying outside as it may lead to death or serious injury.
- Seek medical attention immediately and call 911 if you see someone experiencing hypothermia.