Fire Chief Thomas Judge and the Concord Fire Department are warning 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 arctic cold in Concord, with wind chills below zero by mid-afternoon Friday, and wind chills as low as minus 20 degrees overnight into Saturday morning.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 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.
Concord’s libraries will be open during their normal business hours for community members in need of daytime warming sites. The Concord Fire Department is prepared to open a warming center if needed during hours the libraries are not open. More information will be made available if an emergency warming center is opened.
When going outdoors, adults and children should wear a hat, scarf or knit mask to cover the face and mouth, long sleeves that are snug at the wrist, mittens (they are warmer than gloves), water-resistance coat and boots.
- 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 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.
- 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.
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 — at least 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 your pipes do freeze after the meter (inside your home/business) and you experience no water conditions, call a licensed plumber. Check different faucets to see if you can isolate the problem inside the home. If your pipes freeze at the meter or outside the home please call the Concord Water and Sewer Division Emergency line at 978-318-3250.
If the heat issue is not addressed you should alert the Concord Department of Public Health and Human Services Housing Complaint division at 978-318-3275 during normal business hours.
Residents should be mindful of the contact information for their utility providers, in the event of an outage:
• Concord Municipal Light Plant (electricity): 978-318-3101
• National Grid (natural gas): 800-233-5325
Pet owners are also reminded to take precautions during cold weather. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 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.