CONCORD - Governor Chris Sununu and other safety officials today urged Granite Staters and visitors to prepare for potentially life-threatening cold temperatures forecast for New Hampshire.
The National Weather Service (NWS) in Gray, Maine, has issued Wind Chill Warnings for New Hampshire. Wind chill values of minus 40 to minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit are possible Friday and Saturday.
"Ahead of what may be the coldest air that we've seen in years, the State of New Hampshire is prepared with resources in place," said Gov. Sununu. "During this dangerous cold spell, it's important for Granite Staters to plan ahead and stay indoors as much as possible. Remember to check on relatives, neighbors, the elderly, and pets."
Frostbite is possible within 15 minutes when wind chill values are near minus 25 degrees Fahrenheit. At minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit, hypothermia can occur in about 10 minutes.
Multiple state agencies, including the Department of Safety (DOS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), are coordinating with municipalities and local service providers in preparation for the cold air's arrival.
$5 million in funding was recently approved to support emergency shelter and homelessness initiatives across New Hampshire, including short term cold weather shelters.
Individuals and families in need of temporary shelter to keep warm are encouraged to contact 2-1-1 to locate the closest site that is open and available to them.
Meanwhile, eight organizations receiving state funds stand ready to connect individuals in need of shelter with community-based resources in partnership with 2-1-1 during these potentially life-threatening temperatures.
Municipalities are again reminded and encouraged to share temporary shelter and warming locations with state officials through WebEOC so the most up-to-date local information may be provided to 2-1-1 callers.
Area emergency shelters, which are currently open to individuals experiencing homelessness, are available at the following locations:
- My Friend's Place: 368 Washington Street, Dover, NH 03820
- Seacoast Family Promise: 27 Hampton Road, Exeter, NH 03833
- New Generation: 568 Portsmouth Ave, Greenland, NH 03840
- Cross Roads House: 600 Lafayette Road, Portsmouth, NH
- Anyone who becomes concerned for the safety of another person during the cold weather should contact their local law enforcement's non-emergency line and request a welfare check. If a person sees someone outside and unsheltered, and their life appears to be in danger, they should call 9-1-1.
10 cold weather safety tips:
- Stay informed and monitor local weather reports. Sign up for NH Alerts at ReadyNH.gov.
- Stay indoors and limit travel as much as possible. If travel is necessary, prepare a winter emergency kit with warm clothes, boots, blankets, flashlights, extra batteries, food and water.
- Wear several layers of loose-fitting clothing when outdoors, including hat, scarf and gloves. If clothing becomes wet, remove it immediately.
- Protect people at high-risk by providing warm clothes and blankets and return indoors when shivering.
- Bring animals indoors.
- In the event of a power outage, use battery-powered flashlights rather than candles or open flames for light, and keep generators at least 10 feet away from homes with the engine exhaust directed away from windows and doors.
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure they are functioning properly.
- Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from heating equipment, like a furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
- Plug space heaters directly into an outlet, not a power strip.
- Never use an oven as a heat source.
Additional resources, including how to prepare for extremely cold temperatures and winter storms can be found at ReadyNH.gov.