Hancock County may not enjoy a white Christmas this year, but the weather forecast indicates it will certainly be a cold one, with an “arctic airmass” that’s due to be here by Thursday.

The seven-day forecast shows that temperatures will plunge into the low 20s Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with a low of 32 degrees and high of 44 degrees on Sunday.

The Hancock County Emergency Management Agency is urging all Hancock County residents to prepare for the extreme cold weather beginning Thursday night, Dec. 22, through Monday morning, Dec. 26, and has issued the following recommendations:

• Dress warm if you must go out in this extreme cold weather

• Insulate all unprotected pipes

• Winterize your homes

• Keep Fire Extinguishers on hand

• Protect your pets and plants

• Winterize your vehicle.

In addition, the Hancock County Emergency Management Agency, in coordination with the Hancock County Board of Supervisors, will open a Cold Weather Shelter, Thursday through Monday. The shelter will be open at 6 p.m., Thursday and is located at the Emergency Operations Center Building at 18333 Hwy. 603 Kiln.

If someone needs a ride to the shelter, contact the Hancock County Emergency Management Office at 228-255-0942 or the Hancock County Central Dispatch at 228-255-9191 for assistance.

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