Homeless struggle to survive as temperatures drop

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Fire officials and others have warnings for people who are out in the cold often when it comes to staying warm in these freezing temperatures from Savannah to the Lowcountry.

"On a cold cold day, if you can, stay out of the wind," said Captain Randy Hunter of the Burton Fire District. "That's gonna help somewhat but with these temperatures, hypothermia is gonna set in eventually no matter how warm you're dressed."

Matters are usually worse for the thousands in Savannah who live without a physical structure over their head.

Cody Bolton has been homeless since Hurricane Matthew and said he and his wife go into survival mode when the temperatures drop.

"Me and my wife stay in my truck and turn it on for about 5 minutes to get it warm and then shut it off," Bolton said.

While there are many shelters and warming centers available, living under a bridge in the freezing cold is the everyday reality for Cody and his wife.

"It's really hard," Bolton said. "There's some people that brings gas for the generators and cans of heat, but when it gets down to these temperatures, that can be useless."

Cody told me that wearing layers is how he survives the cold every night and also the donations of blankets from people.

Captain Hunter also says that for people who are frequently exposed to the elements during cold weather, hypothermia eventually sets in.

"The best thing you can do is get inside," Captain Hunter advises. "Find a shelter somewhere and try to wait out the winter cold."

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