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State officials urge Mainers to take precautions during frigid weather

Winter Weather
Robert F. Bukaty
Thomas Nosal wears a hat over his helmet following his daily bicycle commute to his job as a civil engineer, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, in Portland, Maine. Parts of the Northeast are expected to have a wind chill of minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bone-chilling temperatures across the state are prompting the Maine Emergency Management Agency to urging people to take precautions.

"The primary message that we're trying to stress is that people need to stay inside," said Vanessa Corson, a spokesperson for MEMA. "But in the event that you do need to go outside, you should be dressing in layers, have a good base layer, and make sure that your head, your hands, and your feet are well insulated."

Corson said pets shouldn't be let out for any length of time. MEMA is also advising people to keep alternate heat sources inside homes at least three feet away from anything that can catch fire.

"If you're using an alternate heat source, it's crucial that you keep it at least three feet away from anything that could potentially catch fire, whether that's upholstered furniture or curtains," Corson said. "And also check to see that your heat source, if it's a space heater, has an automatic shut off so in the event it accidentally fell over, you'd want that to turn off immediately. "

More than a dozen warming centers have also opened in Maine. Locations can be found on MEMA's web page or by calling 211.