Cold weather safety from Mass. Emergency Management Agency

Temperatures forecast to dive later this week

From The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency:

MEMA Encourages Residents to Stay Safe During Extreme Cold Weather

Bitter cold temperatures and dangerously cold wind chills are forecast for later this week. Forecasts from the National Weather Service for late Thursday night and early Friday morning include low temperatures between 10° and -5° and wind chill values expected to be cold as -15° to -25° across the interior and -5° to -15° near the coast.

• Dress in several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing, rather than a single layer of heavy clothing. Wear a hat, mittens and sturdy waterproof boots, protecting your extremities, and cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.
• Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.
• Have a well-stocked home Emergency Kit that includes a flashlight, sleeping bag or blanket, portable radio, extra batteries, a first aid kit, bottled water and non-perishable food.
• Make sure your car is properly winterized. Keep the gas tank at least half-full. Carry a Winter Emergency Car Kit including blankets, extra clothing, a flashlight with spare batteries, waterproof matches (to melt snow for drinking water), non-perishable foods, windshields scraper, shovel, sand, towrope, and jumper cables in the trunk.
• Be a good neighbor. Check with elderly or disabled relatives and neighbors to ensure their safety.
• Limit outdoor time for your pets. Freezing temperatures are dangerous to animals as well as humans.
• Although temperatures may be cold, bodies of water covered in ice are likely unsafe given recent temperature fluctuations. Residents are urged to stay off frozen bodies of water until ice is at least 4” thick.
• Ensure you have sufficient heating fuel, as well as alternate emergency heating equipment in case you lose electricity. When utilizing alternate heating sources, such as an emergency generator, your fireplace, wood stove, or space heater, take necessary safety precautions and follow manufacturer instructions,
• Make sure all heating devices are properly ventilated and always operate a generator outdoors and away from your home. Improper heating devices can lead to dangerous carbon monoxide (CO) buildup in the home. Make sure you test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause flu-like illness or death. If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, call 911 immediately, get the victim to fresh air, and open windows.


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