极地寒流来袭 波士顿市长发布安全避寒指南

【本报记者李强波士顿报道】波士顿地区圣诞节当天下了约三吋雪,而在之后的一周时间内持续低温严寒天气。新年夜的最低气温只有华氏零下1度(摄氏零下18度)。波士顿市府12月27日发布低温警告,提醒市民做好御寒准备,并要注意取暖设备的安全。当天下午在波士顿市府广场,还是有不少放寒假的学生在露天滑冰场溜冰。

上图:波士顿地区1月4日将迎来高达12-16英寸的降雪。

据最新的天气预报,1月5日、6日两天,波士顿大雪之后将迎来极地低温,最低气温将达到华氏零下11度(摄氏零下24度)。加上大风,给人的感觉将是零下30多度。

上图:一名学生在波士顿市府广场滑冰(李强 摄)。





据天气预报,未来一周的最高气温都将在冰点之下,而新年夜和元旦当天的最低气温更达到华氏零下2度(摄氏零下19度)左右。市府提醒参加「波士顿第一夜」庆祝活动的民众着装一定要注意保暖,并尽量避免长时间在户外活动。

由于此次寒流还伴随强风来袭,气像人员还提醒民众谨防被大风吹断的树枝和电线,大风会造成停电、道路堵塞、房宅受损等现象。如果万一停电之后暖气设备无法启动的话,可以拨打市府热线311求助。

市府的低温警告中,还给出了寒流期间的著装建议穿多层宽松、轻便、保暖的衣服,而不是一层厚重的衣服。外衣应编织紧密能够防水。出行时要戴手套、戴上一顶帽子,并且用围巾遮住你的嘴,以保护你的肺部。给孩子们穿保暖的衣服,设置合理的户外玩耍时间限制。当气温低于华氏40度时,应限制婴儿在户外暴露。

冻伤的迹象包括:手指、脚趾、耳垂和鼻尖等部位的感觉丧失和白色或苍白的外观。如果发现症状,请立即获得医疗帮助,因为受冻而出现体温过低的迹象包括:无法控制的寒战、记忆力减退、迷失方向、言语不清、嗜睡和明显疲惫。如果您或您认识的人出现以上任何症状,请立即与医务人员联系。如果症状严重,请拨打911。

上图:市府广场的行人穿保暖的冬装。

在取暖方面,市府提醒切勿使用木炭或燃气烧烤炉、厨房炉灶,或其他非专门取暖设备为加热器在家中取暖。这些会引起火灾或者非常快地产生危险的一氧化碳。使用错误或不当的热源,是麻州家庭火灾的第二大原因。

市长马丁华殊请求市民帮助邻居,及时清除人行道上的积雪和铲出消防栓。居民在铲雪时请保持谨慎,不要过于用力而导致受伤。如果你铲雪期间或之后有胸痛、气短、头晕眼花、呕吐等症状的话,请立即拨打911。

另外,一氧化碳中毒是冬季下雪期间居民应该关注的问题,居民应该是一定要明智地和安全使用家中的供暖系统,在每一层楼都要安装一个一氧化碳警报器。如果你怀疑自己或家人一氧化碳中毒,请立即拨打911,并开窗通风或转移到室外等待急救。




马丁华殊市长发布的安全避寒指南英文全文

Mayor Walsh asks all residents to take precautions and exercise care during the low temperatures. He encourages residents to check on neighbors who are elderly or disabled; be mindful of homeless individuals who may need assistance; and practice caution with space heaters. Homelessness services are also available on Boston.gov. For those needing a warm place to visit during the day, Boston Centers for Youth & Families community centers are open. Locations and hours can be found here .

For emergency alerts, including cold-weather alerts, residents are encouraged to sign up for Alert Boston. For questions or additional information, call the City’s resident services hotline, 311, or visit boston.gov/cold. Follow the City on Twitter for additional information and safety tips: @BOS311 and @CityofBoston.

Key safety tips include preventing hypothermia and frostbite.

Dress for the weather:

  • Wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing.
  • Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.
  • Wear mittens over gloves; layering works for your hands as well.
  • Always wear a hat and cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.
    Dress children warmly and set reasonable time limits on outdoor play.
  • Restrict infants’ outdoor exposure when it is colder than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Watch for signs of frostbite:

  • These 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, get medical help immediately.

Watch for signs of hypothermia:

  • These include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion.
  • If you or someone you know shows any of these symptoms, get in touch with a healthcare provider immediately. If symptoms are severe, call 911.

Heating Safety

  • Never try to heat your home using a charcoal or gas grill, the kitchen stove, or other product not specifically designed as a heater. These can cause a fire or produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide very quickly. Using faulty or improper heating sources is the number two cause of home fires in Massachusetts.
  • Have your heating system cleaned and checked annually.
  • Install and maintain smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home. Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible gas produced whenever any fuel is burned.
  • Common sources include oil or gas furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces, stoves, and some space heaters. It has no smell, taste, or color. It is a poison and is deadly.

Vulnerable Populations

  • If you see homeless and vulnerable individuals out in the cold who appear immobile, disoriented or underdressed for the cold, please call 911.
  • The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) coordinates a city-wide network of emergency shelters, outreach providers, city agencies and first responders to assist those in need of shelter.
  • Boston’s emergency shelters are open 24 hours and will accept any person in need.  Men can access shelter at the 112 Southampton Street Shelter, and women should go to the Woods-Mullen Shelter at 794 Massachusetts Ave. BPHC and the City are working closely with shelter providers in the city to ensure that no client is without shelter, food, resources, and a warm respite from the cold.

During extreme cold weather, street outreach teams operate with extended hours and provide mobile outreach vans on the streets in the evening and throughout the day.

Heat Guidelines for Property Owners and Tenants

  • In accordance with the Massachusetts State Sanitary Code, the heating season officially begins on September 15 and runs through June 15. Property owners must heat habitable spaces at a minimum temperature of 68° between 7 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. and 64° between 11:01 p.m. and 6:59 a.m.
  • In case of emergency, property owners are encouraged to keep a list of licensed contractors (electrician, plumber and general contractor) on file. Tenants experiencing problems with their heating system should check the thermostat, ensure the dial is turned on, and report insufficient or no heat problems to the property owner or manager immediately.
  • If your landlord or property manager is unresponsive, contact the Inspectional Services Department (ISD) at (617) 635-5300 to file a complaint, or call 311.

Tips to keep water flowing and pipes unfrozen during extreme cold

  • The Boston Water and Sewer Commission recommends that during the upcoming cold snap homeowners remember the words locate, insulate, and circulate.
  • Locate a home’s main water shut off valve, and learn how to use it. Should a frozen pipe burst, shutting the main valve quickly will minimize flooding and property damage.
  • Insulate pipes in unheated areas like basements, garages and crawl spaces. Use inexpensive hardware store materials to prevent pipes from freezing and to keep warm water flowing.
  • Circulate warm air around pipes by keeping cabinet doors open. Circulate a trickle of tap water through pipes during extreme cold to help prevent them freezing up.
  • Locate your water meter, protect it from drafts, and make sure basement doors and windows are shut tight.
  • If pipes do freeze, slow thaw with a hair dryer. If water is lost in all taps, call BWSC 24-hour Emergency Assistance Line at 617-989-7000.
  • Increasing Home Energy Efficiency
  • Disconnect water hose from the home.
  • Wrap or cover exposed spigots.
  • Caulk or putty windows.
  • Ensure kitchen and bathroom dampers close properly.
  • Close all storm windows and doors.
  • Apply weather stripping.
  • Properly insulate all pipes that are exposed.
  • Cover vents.
  • Install insulated or heavy drapes to keep cold drafts from coming in.
  • Don’t forget to close the damper to wood burning fireplace after each use. Consider a chimney balloon if you don’t have a damper.
  • For more energy efficiency tips for your home, call Renew Boston at 617-635-SAVE (7283).

Emergency Home Repair

  • Income eligible homeowners and Boston’s seniors can receive assistance with winter emergencies and repairs, such as fixing storm damage, leaking roofs, furnaces and leaking/frozen pipes. For assistance, residents should call the Mayor’s hotline at 311 or the Boston Home Center at 617-635-HOME (4663).
  • A grant up to $5,000 is available for income eligible senior homeowners to ease unexpected financial burdens caused by an emergency situation with their home.
  • In addition, the Mayor’s Seniors Save program helps income eligible elders replace old, inefficient heating systems with a new brand new heating system even before a catastrophic failure occurs during the cold winter months.  Seniors can also call 311 or the Boston Home Center at (617) 635-HOME (4663)to be connected with a City staffer to provide additional details.

Emergency Operations

  • The City of Boston Office of Emergency Management (OEM) remains in constant contact with the National Weather Service to receive detailed forecasts for the City of Boston. It also ensures each City department has a plan in place to handle the forecast. If the storm warrants, the City’s Emergency Operations Center will be activated and City representatives will coordinate response and recovery efforts.
  • Year round, OEM conducts preparedness seminars to educate the public on the importance of having an emergency preparedness plan and a bag of emergency supplies in the event that Boston residents have to shelter in place or leave their residence.

    Residents who sign up for notifications will receive a message from the City about winter storms and extreme cold weather. This notification system also alerts residents when a snow emergency/parking ban is in effect and when it is being lifted.




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