Submitted by the Bedford Health Department
The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Chill Watch in effect from 4 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 3, extending until at least 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4, with dangerously cold wind chills possible.
Cold wind chills may cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes. In addition, strong winds may cause power outages on Friday. Extreme cold is when temperatures drop distinctly below normal and may quickly lead to serious health emergencies. Be prepared by following the tips below from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Plan Ahead – Prepare a winter survival kit based on your family’s needs for your home and vehicle.
- Prepare Your Home – Check your home before a predicted period of extreme cold. Have chimney or flue inspected annually, test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, place an easy-to-read thermometer in a visible location indoors, insulate water lines along exterior walls, weatherproof your home, follow manufacturer’s instructions for operating heating equipment, etc.
- Monitor Body Temperature – Infants loose body heat more easily than adults and older adults often make less body heat. Check the temperature in homes often and check on elderly friends and neighbors frequently.
- Keep a Water Supply – To avoid frozen pipes, you may want to leave all water taps slightly open to allow a continuous drip, keep indoor temperatures warm, improve heated air circulation near pipes, etc.
- Eat and Drink Wisely – Eating well-balanced meals will help you stay warmer.
- Dress Warmly and Stay Dry – Wear several layers and dress for extreme cold.
- Health Emergencies – The most common cold-related problems are hypothermia and frostbite. Victims are often unaware of their condition. If you detect symptoms, seek medical care immediately. For more information, visit online at https://www.cdc.gov/cpr/documents/hypothermia-frostbite_508.pdf.
- Animals and Pets – Bring pets inside and limit time outdoors. Provide adequate shelter, food, and water.
- Stay Warm Indoors – Stay indoors in a well heated area. If you lose power or your home is not sufficiently heated, consider other locations that may be warm such as:
- The Bedford Public Library – 7 Mudge Way, Bedford. Monday – Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- The Bedford Council on Aging – 12 Mudge Way, Bedford. Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- The Burlington Mall – 75 Middlesex Turnpike, Burlington. Monday – Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday – Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For additional information visit the CDC Extreme Cold Prevention Guide to Promote Personal Health and Safety: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/pdf/extreme-cold-guide.pdf