By Marina Starleaf Riker • The Bulletin

Deschutes County cold-weather shelters

Bethlehem Inn

Location: 3705 N. U.S. Highway 97, Bend

Intake: Walk-in or call 541-322-8768

Serves: Men, women and children

Shepherd’s House

Location: 1854 NE Division St., Bend

Intake: Walk-in or call 541-388-2096

Serves: Men, women and children

Bend United Methodist Church

Location: 680 NW Bond St., Bend

Intake: Walk-in or call 425-765-1782 or 541-350-1245

Hours: Opens at 6:30 p.m. when activated

Serves: Single women and women with children

Grace Gate Community Church

Location: 1350 S. U.S. Highway 97, Redmond

Intake: Call 541-788-8098. Recorded message will say if shelter is open by 2 p.m.

Hours: 6 p.m.-7 a.m. when temperatures are forecast to be 32 degrees or below

Serves: Unrestricted

Westside Church

Location: 442 Trinity Way, Sisters

Intake: Walk-in. Recorded message at 541-639-7321

Hours: 6 p.m.-7 a.m. when temperatures are forecast to be 32 degrees or below

Serves: Unrestricted

With low temperatures expected near zero degrees for most of the week, Central Oregon residents may need to take extra precautions to keep themselves, their homes and pets safe.

The National Weather Service says Bend should expect low temperatures hovering near zero until the weekend. High temperatures aren’t forecast to rise above 15 degrees until Thursday, which is expected to have a high around 25, according to the weather service.

Temperatures are expected to rise Friday and Saturday to just below freezing. On Sunday, Bend residents may be able to thaw out a bit with warmer temperatures in the 30s, according to the National Weather Service.

The freezing temperatures mean Bend residents may be forced to deal with cold weather problems such as bursting pipes and intensive pet care. Experts say there are several things residents can do protect their homes and loved ones from the bitter cold .

Travis Lambert, operations manager of Einstein Plumbing and Heating, said homeowners and renters should act now to prevent pipes from freezing — especially in homes with plumbing that’s more than 20 years old.

Making sure hose bibs and outdoor vents are insulated with covers is a must-do, Lambert said. Inside the home, you can open up cabinet doors and turn up the heat to help warm pipes, he said.

“A lot of people will open up the cabinets to the plumbing, and let the thermostat run,” Lambert said. “It’s not a 100 percent fix, but it definitely helps.”

Every house is different, which means pipes may freeze at different temperatures, Lambert said. If your home has older plumbing — 25 to 30 years old — you may want to look into replacing vulnerable sections of pipe, Lambert said.

“It’s like maintenance on your car,” he said.

With temperatures not expected to rise above freezing until Sunday, residents also need to keep a careful eye on their pets, said Debbie Putnam, a veterinarian at Riverside Animal Hospital in Bend.

Depending on the dog breed, an owner may need to buy a coat or booties to keep pets warm and their paws ice free when taking them outside, Putnam said. With the exception of some northern dog breeds that are used to extreme winter temperatures, pet owners should not leave dogs or cats outdoors this week, she said.

“If it’s too cold for you out there, by and large it’s too cold for them,” she said.

Finding shelter will be the key to survival for Central Oregon’s homeless residents this week. Throughout Deschutes County, there are several locations where people can seek shelter and escape dangerously frigid temperatures.

“Most of the time anything below (20 degrees) people really can’t survive,” said David Notari, director of development for Shepherd’s House in Bend. “It’s too difficult.”

Notari said his organization is expecting an increase in people seeking shelter this week. The public can help by donating blankets, sleeping bags, jackets and base layers, he said. Those items can save someone’s life, he said.

“It’s a scary prospect because some folks, if they are incapacitated because of addiction, they could end up sitting outside and thinking they’re fine and dying by exposure,” he said.

— Reporter: 541-633-2160, mriker@bendbulletin.com

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