In anticipation of record low temperatures in the days ahead, the City of Pittsfield has designated three warming centers in the city and is providing residents with free transportation to these locations, as needed.

According to a press release from the city, the centers include the Ralph J. Froio Senior Center, 330 North St., the Christian Center, 193 Robbins Ave., and the Salvation Army, 298 West St. The warming center will serve as a place for patrons to get some relief from the cold. At all locations, visitors will be able to have a warm beverage and charge devices, if necessary.

Each location will serve as a warming center during its normal hours of operations. From Wednesday through Friday, the Senior Center will be open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; the Christian Center, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the Salvation Army.

To arrange transportation to any of these locations, please call the Senior Center at 499-9346 or the city’s Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) at 499-9345.

Regarding overnight shelter services, please contact Barton’s Crossing at 442-1445 for information on available resources in Pittsfield.

For those dealing with weather-related emergencies after-hours, please call the Pittsfield Police Department (448-9700) who will provide further assistance specific to these matters.

As city officials continue to monitor the weather, an update will be provided through the city’s CodeRED notification system with more information.

The following are helpful tips from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA):

· Dress in several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing instead of a single heavy layer. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Wear a hat, mittens (not gloves), and sturdy waterproof boots to protect your arms, legs, hands and feet. Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.

· Follow recommended safety precautions when using space heaters, a fireplace, or a woodstove to heat your home. Keep a fire extinguisher handy.

· Make sure emergency generators or secondary heating systems are well ventilated.

· If you lose heating, move into a single room. At night, cover windows and external doors with extra blankets or sheets.
· Wrap pipes in insulation or layers of newspapers covered in plastic to prevent them from freezing. Let a trickle of warm water run from a faucet to keep water moving through your pipes.

· If your pipes freeze, open all faucets all the way, remove any insulation, and heat the frozen pipe with a hair dryer or wrap with towels soaked in hot water. Never use an open flame to thaw pipes.

· Be a good neighbor. Check on family, friends, and neighbors, especially the elderly, those who live alone, those with medical conditions, and those who may need extra help.

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