Fire Chief/Emergency Management Director Steve Murphy warn residents about the incoming arctic blast and sharing tips for staying safe amid extreme cold.
The forecast for Friday and Saturday, Feb. 3-4, calls for extreme cold in Hingham, with wind chills below zero by mid-afternoon Friday, and wind chills as low as minus degrees overnight into Saturday morning.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cold weather- induced illnesses such as frostbite can occur even in temperatures above 40°F if a person becomes chilled by rain or sweat, or is submerged in cold water.
The Hingham Fire Department wishes to share the following tips from the CDC to help keep residents safe in cold weather situations and conditions.
- When going outdoors, adults and children should wear:
- A hat
- Scarf or knit mask to cover face and mouth Long sleeves that are snug at the wrist
- Mittens (they are warmer than gloves)
- Water-resistant coat and boots
- Residents are also reminded to layer their clothing strategically:
- When choosing an inner layer, wear fabrics that will hold more body heat and do not absorb moisture. Wool, silk, or polypropylene will hold more body heat than cotton.
- Wear a layer of clothing for insulation. An insulation layer will help you retain heat by trapping air close to your body. Natural fibers, like wool, goose down, or a fleece work best.
- Select your outer layer carefully. The outermost layer helps protect you from wind, rain, and snow. It should be tightly woven, and preferably water and wind resistant, to reduce loss of body heat.
- Try to stay dry while outdoors, as wet clothing chills the body quickly.
- Excess sweating will cause your body to lose more heat, so remove extra layers of clothing whenever you feel too warm.
- Avoid getting gasoline or alcohol on your skin while deicing and fueling your car or using a snow blower. Getting these on your skin will cause your body to lose a lot more heat.
- Do not ignore shivering, as it’s an important first sign that your body is losing heat. Constant shivering is a sign that it is time to go inside.
It is unsafe to walk over any iced bodies of water, no matter the depth or outdoor temperature.
Residents in rented apartments or condominiums should be aware that their landlords, trustees and designated property management are required to ensure that properties have the capacity for adequate heat — 68 degrees during the day and 64 degrees at night. Residents with malfunctioning or underperforming heating systems are encouraged to first contact the property’s responsible parties for inadequate heat issues.
If the heat issue is not addressed you should alert the Hingham Department of Public Health at 781-741-1466 during normal business hours.
- Hingham Municipal Lighting Plant (electricity): 781-749-0134
- National Grid (natural gas): 800-233-5325
For additional information from the CDC regarding cold weather safety, click here.
- Hingham Recreation Department, 210 Central St. -- 12:30-2:30 p.m. on Saturday
- South Shore Country Club Bowling alley, 274 South St. -- 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday
- Hingham Public Library, 66 Leavitt St., -- 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday
Additionally, residents are encouraged to check on their elderly neighbors to ensure their safety.
Keep Pets Safe
Pet owners are also reminded to take precautions during cold weather. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), cold tolerance varies from pet to pet, and owners should be aware of their pet’s tolerance and adjust their activities accordingly. No pet should be left outside for long periods of time during below-freezing weather. Owners should check their dog’s paws frequently for signs of cold-weather injury, such as cracked paw pads or bleeding. Following a walk, owners should also wipe down their pet’s feet, legs and belly to remove chemicals such as deicers or antifreeze.=
It is also recommended that you check underneath your car, bang on the hood and honk the horn as a warm vehicle engine can be an appealing heat source for outdoor or feral cats. For more tips regarding cold weather and animals, visit the AVMA