With requests for everything from water to warm weather gear, the cold weather is taking a toll on protesters as they attempt to clean up their encampment.

For weeks, rats seeking warmer housing have been spotted around the pallets and tents. Protesters were cleaning up their outdoor kitchen in McPherson Square Wednesday; health department officials are expected to visit on Thursday. Here’s what the kitchen looks like now, according to a picture from WTOP’s Neal Augenstein:

PIC: kitchen tent at Occupy DC encampment is being cleaned to prevent rats, before next visit from DC Health. twitter.com/AugensteinWTOP…

— Neal Augenstein (@AugensteinWTOP) January 4, 2012

As encampments across the country shut down, protesters in either District encampment — Occupy Washington, D.C., protesters are camping in Freedom Plaza — are trying to get by with fewer donations and with temperatures dipping dangerously low. Occupy D.C.’s standing donation feed pleaded for blankets and warm weather gear Tuesday, and for water on Wednesday.

we’re shivering here! help us stay healthy&warm. Donate: warm weather gear(thermals/blankets etc) medical supplies, waterwarm food #Occupydc

— Occupy DC Needs (@OccupyDCNeeds) January 3, 2012

Still, the group is planning the year’s first day of action tomorrow, and will protest in support of affordable housing.

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