A cold weather advisory has been issued in response to extremely low temperatures predicted for this weekend and tomorrow, Monday, January 24, 2011.  According to some local meteorologists, the next few days may be some of the coldest this region has seen in years. Temperatures may hover above or just below freezing. Mayor Thomas M. Menino wants to remind residents to take the necessary precautions in anticipation of the severely cold weather. With that thought in mind, please consider some of the following safety tips before venturing outdoors. If you have an emergency situation, please dial 9-1-1 directly.

Clothing: Wear mittens over gloves – layering works for your hands as well. Wear a hat and cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.  Wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. Use things like thermal underwear, undershirts, track suits, sweaters, snowsuits, boots, hats, gloves, and scarves. Be sure that your outer layer is tightly woven and windproof.

Children: Restrict infants’ outdoor exposure when it is colder than 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Dress children warmly and in bright colors. Set reasonable time limits on outdoor play.

Elderly: Check on elderly family and neighbors. The elderly are particularly susceptible to cold-related illness. Ensure elderly family and neighbors have adequate heat and nutritious food.

Pets: Keep pets indoors. Pets suffer in the cold just like humans, yet they have little means to protect themselves. Keep pets safe by keeping them in doors.

Spending Time Outdoors: Don’t stay out in the cold. If you have to stay out in the cold for work, be sure to take frequent breaks where it is warm. Avoid getting wet. Moisture can speed the onset of hypothermia. Drink non-caffeinated fluids. Dehydration occurs more quickly in cold, dry weather. Be sure to keep yourself well hydrated, especially if you are exerting yourself. Cover exposed skin and watch for frostbite. In extreme cold, frostbite can happen in under a minute. The symptoms of frostbite include loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes and the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, seek help immediately.

For more information about how to stay safe and warm when the cold weather comes, click on the following link: