Weather ALERT - Please Share
An arctic air mass will be moving into New England tonight, bringing
with it the coldest weather so far this winter. Daytime highs through
Friday are expected to be in the high teens to low 20s across Massachusetts,
dropping to the low single digits or even below zero overnight. These
temperatures, combined with blustery winds, will result in dangerously
cold wind chills over the next two days. Wind chill temperatures could
range as low as -16 to -24 degrees.
Cold weather of this magnitude and duration can pose safety concerns for the general public, including but not limited to:
· Hypothermia and frostbite
· Carbon monoxide poisoning
· Frozen water pipes
· Water main breaks
· Dead car batteries
Wind Chill Advisories are in effect through tomorrow morning across northern, central and western Massachusetts.
MEMA is actively monitoring the situation and will issue additional situational awareness statements as needed.
Extreme Cold Weather Safety Tips for the General Public:
· Continue to be aware of extreme weather conditions by monitoring media reports.
· Be sure to have a well-stocked Winter Home Emergency Supply
Kit that includes flashlights, blankets, portable radio, extra
batteries, a first aid kit, bottled water, non-perishable food and a
manual can opener. Food provides the body with energy for producing its
· Minimize outside activities, especially for elders, young children and pets.
· Dress in several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight
clothing, rather than a single layer of heavy clothing. Outer garments
should be tightly woven and water repellent. Wear a hat, mittens and
sturdy waterproof boots to protect your extremities. Cover your mouth
with a scarf to protect your lungs.
· Be aware of the
potential for frostbite to outer extremities such as fingers, toes, ear
lobes and nose. Frostbite can lead to body tissue damage, and has
symptoms such as a loss of feeling in and a pale appearance of the body
part. If symptoms are detected, seek medical help immediately.
Watch for signs of hypothermia, which include uncontrollable
shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech,
drowsiness and apparent exhaustion. If a person’s temperature drops
below 95 degrees, seek immediate medical care.
· Ensure you have sufficient heating fuel and emergency heating equipment in case you lose electricity.
· If you lose your heat, seal off unused rooms by stuffing
towels in the cracks under the doors. At night, cover windows with extra
blankets or sheets.
· When utilizing alternate heating
sources, such as your fireplace, wood stove or space heater, take
necessary safety precautions. Keep a fire extinguisher handy and ensure
everyone knows how to use it properly. Test smoke alarms and carbon
monoxide (CO) detectors.
· Be a good neighbor. Check in on
elders, relatives and friends who may need additional assistance to
ensure their safety.
· To help prevent pipes from freezing,
wrap them in insulation or layers of newspapers, covering the newspapers
with plastic to keep out moisture. Allow a trickle of warm water to run
from a faucet that is farthest from your water meter and/or into any
pipe that has been known to freeze in the past. This will keep the water
moving so that it cannot freeze. Locate your central water shut off
valve and learn how to shut off your water should a pipe burst.
If pipes freeze, remove insulation and completely open all
faucets. Pour hot water over the frozen pipes or wrap them with towels
soaked in hot water, starting where they are most exposed to the cold.
When used with caution, blowing hot air from a hand-held hair dryer onto
the frozen pipe also works well.
· Be sure to properly
winterize your car. Keep the gas tank at least half-full. Carry a Winter
Emergency Car Kit in the trunk, which can include blankets, extra
clothing, flashlight with spare batteries, an empty can and waterproof
matches (to melt snow for drinking water), non-perishable foods,
windshield scraper, shovel, sand, a towrope and jumper cables.
MEMA encourages Smartphone users to download the free ping4alerts! app.
This app is available free of charge for iPhone and Android phones and
receives severe weather alerts from the National Weather Service and
emergency information from MEMA based on the user location. Learn more