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G. Patoulis: "The operational mechanism of the Region of Attica remains on the alert, having been activated in time so as to tackle any problems caused by severe weather conditions. Citizens, visitors and drivers should be informed and follow the Protection Guidelines"

The Regional Governor of Attica Mr George Patoulis is kept fully briefed 24/7 of the operational readiness of the Region of Attica to tackle any problems caused by the severe weather conditions throughout the 66 Municipalities of the Region.

By order of the Regional Governor of Attica, the snow clearing fleet of the Region of Attica has been timely on operational alert to intervene where necessary in problems caused by the severe weather conditions.

The Region's fleet of about 70 vehicles, salt-makers, loaders, graters, GCB machines, small crawlers and trucks has been operating for more than 40 hours where problems arise.

The Regional Governor of Attica, George Patoulis stated:"The Region of Attica is on operational alert, aiming to the best emergency response so as to provide safety for the lives of citizens, residents in Attica and visitors.

Our services will continue to be on a 24-hour alert to intervene where necessary. Citizens should be cautious to avoid injuries and fatalities from frost.

The safety of citizens is our highest priority. In this context we will work closely with the Municipalities to deal with any problems that arise, in an effective and urgent manner.”

The Region of Attica recommends citizens, residents and visitors of Attica, as well as drivers, to stay cautious, to avoid unnecessary outdoor activity or driving during peak times, to be kept informed and to regularly consult the official weather forecasts.

Since Monday afternoon interventions have been made to areas where most of the problems occurred such as:

  • The Old National Road of Athens-Thiva
  • Porto Germeno
  • Villia
  • Oinoi
  • Caza
  • Katsimidi - Agios Mercourios
  • Mount Parnitha up to the cable car station  
  • Hippocratios Politeia
  • Dionysus Avenue in Dionysos
  • Pentelis Avenue at Penteli- Fylis Avenue-
  • Mount Hymettus (From Kalopoula to the radars)

Larger quantities of salt were made available upon request to the Municipalities of Dionysos and Penteli, while small quantities were given to other Municipalities of Attica.

Severe weather, snowfall and frost Protection Guidelines

Stay Safe Outdoors

Try to stay indoors during extremely cold weather and avoid moving outside. In case you do, make your stay outdoors as brief as possible and avoid unnecessary movements during peak times (heavy snowfall, frost conditions).

Follow these tips below to protect your health and safety.

Stay off the ice

Walking on ice is extremely dangerous. Many injuries related to cold weather happen from falls on ice-covered sidewalks, steps, driveways, and porches. Keep your steps and walkways as free of ice as possible by using rock salt.

Be safe during outdoor activities

  • Avoid unnecessary movements during peak times (heavy snowfall, frost conditions).
  • Avoid walking on ice or getting wet.
  • Carefully watch for signs of cold-weather health problems, like hypothermia and frostbite.
  • Do not leave any areas of your skin exposed to the cold.
  • Avoid sweating or extreme fatigue.
  • Refrain from alcoholic beverages and caffeinated drinks.
  • Let your friends and family know about your plans and destination, if you have to travel.
  • If you have to walk for a distance during severe weather and cold, be prepared for any emergency need. Pack dry clothing, a two-way radio, waterproof matches, and paraffin fire starters with you.

Be careful while travelling

  • If you need to travel, do so preferably during the day and opt for the main roads. Be prepared to change your travel schedule in case weather extremes are getting worse.
  • Stay connected with the media for radio or television reports or for travel advisories issued by the Region of Attica,the National Weather Agency of Greece, and the Civil Protection Secretariat
  • Do not travel in low visibility conditions.
  • Avoid travelling on ice-covered roads and on bridges. Also, avoid over passing.
  • If you must travel by car, use tire chains and take a mobile phone with you.
  • If you must travel, let someone know your destination and when you expect to arrive. Ask them to notify authorities if you are delayed.
  • Check and restock the winter emergency supplies in your car before you leave and carry extra warm clothing and blankets with you.

If you get stranded:

If you get stranded, it may be safer to stay in your car, especially if winter storms create poor visibility or if roadways are ice covered.

Increase your safety when stranded by following these steps

  • Tie a brightly coloured cloth to the antenna as a signal to rescuers.
  • Move anything you need from the trunk into the passenger area of your vehicle.
  • Wrap your entire body, including your head, in extra clothing, blankets, or newspapers.
  • Stay awake. It will help you to avoid further cold-related health problems.
  • Run the motor (and heater) for about 10 minutes per hour, opening one window slightly to let in air. Make sure that snow is not blocking the exhaust pipe—this will reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • As you sit, keep moving your arms and legs to improve your circulation and stay warmer.
  • Do not eat snow because it will lower your body temperature.
  • Huddle with other people for warmth.

Dress warmly and stay dry

  • Dress warmly before you go outside in cold weather
  • Stay dry—wet clothing chills the body quickly.
  • Excess sweating will cause your body to lose more heat, so remove extra layers of clothing whenever you feel too warm.
  • Avoid getting gasoline or alcohol on your skin while de-icing and fuelling your car or using a snow blower. Getting these materials on your skin will cause your body to lose a lot more heat.
  • Do not ignore shivering—it’s an important first sign that your body is losing heat. Constant shivering is a sign that it is time to go inside.

Avoid exerting yourself, and stay safe during cleanup.

Cold weather puts an extra strain on the heart. If you have heart disease or high blood pressure, follow your doctor’s advice about shovelling snow or performing other hard work in the cold. Otherwise, if you have to do heavy outdoor chores dress warmly and work slowly to avoid excess sweating.

Know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia.

Hypothermia

Hypothermia (abnormally low body temperature) is a dangerous condition that may occur when a person is exposed to extremely cold temperatures.

In adults, warning signs of hypothermia include shivering, exhaustion or intense tiredness, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, and drowsiness. In babies, hypothermia is also evidenced by bright red, cold skin, and significantly low energy.

If you notice any of these signs, take the person’s temperature. If body temperature is below 35° C, the situation is an emergency, therefore get medical attention immediately.

Frostbite

Frostbite is a type of injury caused by freezing. It can lead to a loss of feeling and colour in the areas it affects, usually the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, and toes.  Frostbite can permanently damage the body, whilst severe cases can lead to amputation (removal of the affected body part).

Signs of frostbite include a white or greyish-yellow skin area, skin that feels unusually firm or waxy, and numbness. If you notice signs of frostbite, seek medical care.

Adults and children should wear

  • a hat
  • a scarf or knit mask to cover face and mouth
  • sleeves that are snug at the wrist
  • mittens (they are warmer than gloves)
  • water-resistant coat and boots
  • several layers of loose-fitting clothing
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