MEMA PRESENTS EXTREME COLD
WEATHER SAFETY TIPS
MA – “As we continue to experience a colder than normal period of this
winter season, with even lower temperatures in the forecast, we must take
precautions to minimize the dangers presented by this extreme weather,” stated
Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Director Stephen J. McGrail. “To
that end, MEMA presents these tips.”
of the weather conditions by monitoring the media.
outside activities, particularly the elderly and very young.
Also consider your pets.
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 study waterproof boots, protecting your
extremities. Cover your mouth with
a scarf to protect your lungs.
exposure can lead to frostbite, which is damage to body tissue that is frozen.
Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and a pale appearance in extremities,
such as fingers, toes, ear lobes or the tip of the nose. If symptoms are
detected, seek medical help immediately. Slowly
rewarm the affected areas as you await medical assistance.
can occur in extreme cases. The
warning signs are uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation,
incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion. If the person’s temperature drops below 95 degrees, seek
immediate medical care. If medical
assistance is not available, slowly warm up the person, body core first,
wrapping them in a blanket or using your own body heat. Do not warm the
extremities first, for this drives the cold blood towards the heart and can lead
to heart failure. Do not give the
person alcohol, coffee, tea or any hot food or beverage.
Warm liquids are best.
electricity is lost for an extended period of time, a snowbank in your yard can
become a makeshift freezer for food.
you have sufficient heating fuel, as well as emergency heating equipment in case
you lose electricity.
utilizing alternate heating sources, such as your fireplace, wood stove or space
heater, take the necessary safety precautions. Keep a fire extinguisher handy, ensuring everyone knows how
to use it properly. Test smoke alarms.
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. Food provides the
body with energy for producing its own heat.
with elderly or disabled relatives and neighbors to ensure their safety.
trickle of hot and cold water to run from a faucet that is farthest from your
water meter or one that has frozen in the past. This will keep the water moving so that it cannot freeze.
Learn how to shut off your water if a pipe bursts.
well-stocked Winter Home Emergency supply kit that includes flashlights,
portable radio, extra batteries, a first aid kit, bottled water and
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