A blast of arctic air has engulfed the Maritimes.

Moncton has the dubious distinction of being one of the coldest places in the region. A wind-chill of -30 was reported in the Hub City.

“Layering up that’s for sure,” says Moncton resident Janic Breau. “Good winter boots and a good coat.”

Mail carrier Jennifer French has no choice to but to be outside. She says despite her eyelashes occasionally freezing together, it’s not too bad.

“It’s quite cold, but I don’t mind. I’m bundled up pretty nice,” says French. “It’s not too bad, as long as I keep walking, I’m good.”

Officials with Ambulance New Brunswick are warning people to limit their exposure to the elements.

Hypothermia and frostbite can happen in a matter of minutes.

“You’re looking for any numbness in the extremities,” explains Yvon Bourque of Ambulance New Brunswick. “You’re looking at a loss of sensation in the extremities, or the skin will become white and waxy.”

With wind gusts approaching 60 kilometres per hour it’s difficult to make sure every body part is covered.

Bourque says you should get inside as soon as possible if you notice any symptoms of frost bite.

“You should be very careful not to rub it too severely because that would create damage,” says Bourque.  “If you’re going to put it under warm water make sure it’s not hot water because now that your nerve endings are exposed you won’t feel the hot water.”

In Fredericton, the cold temperatures are combined with large snow banks. It’s difficult and in some cases dangerous to get around.

There’s a chilly breeze off the water in Halifax and temperatures feel colder than they actually are because of the wind.  

Officials with Ambulance New Brunswick in Moncton say it’s a good idea to prepare for the cold, whether you’re walking or driving.

“Recommend people carry an emergency kit in their car in case they get stranded,” explains Bourque. “Extra clothes, blankets and stuff you’ll want to put in your car.”

Temperatures are expected to affect the region at least until next week.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Jonathan MacInnis