MEMA warns of impacts from 'potentially life-threatening wind chill temperatures'
Wednesday night will bring the meanest temperatures: communities north of the Massachusetts Turnpike will see temperatures drop below zero. Paired with wind chill, places like western Massachusetts could feel as cold as -15 to -25 degrees. The National Weather Service issued formal wind advisories across the state, beginning Wednesday evening into Thursday morning.
The Mass. Emergency Management Agency is warning residents to take extra caution both inside and outside of their homes as the bout of gusty cold takes over.
For those outside, MEMA warns "potentially life-threatening wind chill temperatures" could cause frostbite and hypothermia to those not properly dressed in layers, hats and gloves. If skin is left unprotected, the dangerous medical conditions can occur in as little as 30 minutes.
MEMA also alerts against improper use of space heaters or blowtorches on freezing pipes. The agency warns "alternative heating sources" can cause fires or carbon monoxide poisoning if mishandled.
A state public safety website explains the proper procedure for handling different heating methods like chimneys, furnaces and fuel stoves. For electronic space heaters, users are advised to "keep anything that can burn at least three feet away."
The freezing cold can also cause car failure, water main breaks, pipe bursts and power outages. Online, MEMA offers digital forecasting tools, extreme cold weather tips and a statewide power outage map.