PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — With freezing temperatures forecasted overnight Wednesday and into the weekend, warming shelters are preparing to welcome people in across the Portland metro area.

Multnomah County and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler declared a state of emergency ahead of the Winter Storm Watch and Wind Chill Advisory issued for the metro area that starts at 4 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 22 and ends at 6 a.m. Friday, Dec. 23.

During a joint press conference on Wednesday, Portland and Multnomah County officials outlined some of the measures the city and county are taking to make sure people are safe during the treacherous weather in the days ahead.

“In the next few days, we are shaping up to have some of the most cold and the most dangerous weather we’ve experienced possibly for decades,” Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury said.

Kafoury said the county currently has 2,000 shelter beds available. However, according to official data, there are at least 3,000 people in Multnomah County living on the streets.

“We’ll continue to open shelter beds as needed, we have a no turn away policy,” Kafoury said. “We’re prepared to open hundreds more if the need is there.”

Four severe weather warming shelters will open throughout Multnomah County at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21. While the shelters already have employees with medical and behavioral health expertise, officials are also calling on volunteers to help with meals and other management tasks.

Free transportation to the shelters will be available through TriMet or by calling 211. TriMet riders should let their driver know they’re heading to a shelter.

County officials remind folks that libraries will be open during daytime hours, along with the Behavioral Health Resource Center in downtown Portland.

Washington County severe weather shelters will open at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21 until noon on Saturday, Dec. 24. County officials said no one will be turned away, including pets.