Updated: May 7
We're starting out in 2018 with extremely cold weather, and with the potential for up to 14" of snow on the way. We want you to be safe! Please review the following important information in preparation for this crazy weather.
1. Take care of yourself and others! Check on neighbors in need before, during, and after the storm. If you have neighbors who are either elderly, have a disability, or are otherwise unable to navigate cold and winter weather, please check in and make sure that they are safe, healthy, and have food and resources to weather the storm.
Minimize time outside, even for pets.
Make sure your vehicle’s gas tank is at least half full and pack an emergency kit that includes blankets and/or warm clothing.
Make sure you have food and water to last several days.
Check that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working and have fresh batteries.
2. Check your home heating systems, and make sure to leave the heat set to at least 60 degrees to prevent pipes from freezing.
Follow recommended safety precautions when using space heaters, a fireplace, or a wood stove to heat your home. Do not use the oven for heat. Keep a fire extinguisher handy.
Wrap pipes in insulation or layers of newspapers covered in plastic to prevent them from freezing. Let a trickle of warm water run from a faucet to keep water moving through your pipes.
If your pipes freeze, open all faucets all the way, remove any insulation, and heat the frozen pipe with a hair dryer or wrap with towels soaked in hot water. Never use an open flame to thaw pipes.
3. Shovel safely. This week, it is predicted that snowfall will be accompanied by extremely cold temperatures, meaning that snow will quickly turn to ice. Clearing sidewalks is of the utmost importance to prevent hazards.
Shovel in short segments. Do not attempt to shovel everything all at once. Rather, remain outside only for a few minutes at a time.
When you are outdoors, make sure you are dressed in several layers, including hats, mittens, warm socks, waterproof boots, and a scarf to cover your face. Please avoid leaving any skin, including your face, exposed in extreme cold.
Drink warm liquids and water to stay hydrated.
Watch for signs of cold-related health concerns like frostbite and hypothermia and call 911 immediately for any emergencies.
For a full list of safety tips, visit the State of Massachusetts' web site.
This cold snap has been especially difficult for the homeless. Please consider making a donation to one of the following local charities, all of which have a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, ensuring that your donation of time, money, or goods will be put to the best possible use. Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless Rosie's Place Pine Street Inn Wellspring House Lazarus House Women's Lunch Place