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A major outbreak of arctic air will move into our area this weekend. An arctic cold front moving through the region late Friday night and into Saturday morning will bring the coldest temperatures of the winter season. The coldest time period will be late Saturday through Sunday morning. Record minimums and record low maximums may be reached during this time frame. The biggest hazards from this event are from extreme cold temperatures and dangerous wind chills. Wind chill values Sunday morning may fall below -25 degrees, and high temperatures on Sunday (2/14) will only be in the teens.
Both the Senior Center and The Town Gym will be open tonight until 9:00 pm as warming centers. The Senior Center will be open from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm both Saturday and Sunday. While we don’t anticipate any power outages, should they occur, we will react accordingly to provide shelter, if necessary.
Please take the following precautions to stay safe during the cold weekend.1. Layer up! Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing your body heat.
2. Don’t forget your furry friends. Bring pets indoors. If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.
3. Remember the three feet rule. If you are using a space heater, place it on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least three feet away – things such as paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs.
4. Requires supervision – Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.
5. Don’t catch fire! If you are using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
6. Protect your pipes. Run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent your pipes from freezing. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children. Keep the garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage.
7. Better safe than sorry. Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Your heating bill may be a little higher, but you could avoid a more costly repair job if your pipes freeze and burst.
8. The kitchen is for cooking. Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.
9. Use generators outside. Never operate a generator inside the home, including in the basement or garage.
10. Knowledge is power. Don’t hook a generator up to the home’s wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator.
Tom BanischFirst SelectmanMadison, CT