WORCESTER, Mass. - Paul Dzingavitch will tell you the line of cars at Peterson Oil seems to get longer when the weather gets colder.
"All the time," said Dzingavitch. "And not just cold snaps like this. When it just gets a little cold, or snowier, or rainy."
What You Need To Know
- Central and western Massachusetts are preparing for freezing cold temperatures Friday night into Saturday
- Wind chills could be as low as -30F, per the National Weather Service
- UMass Memorial Health's Deputy Chief of EMS Michael Hunter recommends covering up as much skin as possible if going outside during the extreme cold
- City officials have announced a temporary, emergency overnight warming center at the Worcester Senior Center from 8 a.m. on Friday until 6 p.m. on Saturday
Below freezing temperatures made Wednesday less than ideal for Dzingavitch, and sub-zero weather later this week won't help.
"Ten minutes seems like an hour," Dzingavitch said while pumping gas Wednesday. "The day drags. You see people you've never seen before and you'll never see again."
Wearing layers is how Dzingavitch will keep himself warm when the thermometer plummets later this week.
UMass Memorial Health's Deputy Chief of EMS Michael Hunter said whatever you wear, make sure it’s loose fitting. After 30-plus years of experience, Hunter said EMTs see cases of hypothermia and frost bite frequently.
"Anyone that's outside needs to cover their skin," said Hunter. "Noses, ears, fingers are very, very susceptible to frost bite."
If possible, Hunter recommends staying inside when this extreme cold hits. But if you have to go out, he said to make sure to take more precautions other than just dressing warm.
"But, is their vehicle prepared?" Hunter asked. "Are they going to have a breakdown because of batteries or tire pressure due to the change in temperature? Are they going to be stranded some place where they have to wait for a repair service to come?"
Dzingavitch is ready for it. And if you'll be outside Friday or Saturday, he provided some advice.
"Keep moving," Dzingavitch said. "Keep moving and dress right."
Hunter said staying hydrated is also important, pace yourself if working and most importantly, if you're cold, find a place to go inside.