Severe weather emergencies

Extremely cold weather

Extremely cold weather

Extreme freezing cold can lead to problems with heating, freezing of water mains and lines, and power outages. All of this may result in a fire hazard. Make sure that your family members are also able to see and prevent threats.

In exceptionally cold weather

  • Heat a wood-burning firebox with one load of wood at a time, two to three times a day.
  • Do not close the damper too early.
  • Make sure that electric heaters do not overload the electrical system.
  • Wrap pipes with additional insulation to avoid the risk of freezing.
  • Use heating cables or fan heaters to thaw frozen pipes. Do not warm frozen pipes with an open flame.
  • If possible, remain indoors.
  • Dress warmly and wear layers when going outside. Pay attention to particularly sensitive areas of the body.
  • If driving is unavoidable, fill the tank with fuel. Bring along a charged mobile phone, warm clothes, and a warm drink.


In case of frostbite:

  • Quickly bring the victim to a warm place and slowly begin to warm them. In case of loss of consciousness and cardiac arrest associated with deep hypothermia, call 112 immediately. Then start resuscitation: open the airway and begin administering an indirect heart massage.
  • With deep undercooling, begin warming from the inside to the outside. Inhalation of warm vapours or drinking warm liquid helps the body to warm up.
  • The first sign of freezing of the extremities is pain. Helping to alleviate this are active movements and massage.
  • Do not visit a sauna after suffering from frostbite. A sudden rise in temperature can be life-threatening.
  • Frozen hands or feet must not be placed in hot water. A sudden change in temperature can damage tissues.
  • In the event of a cold wave, keep in touch with disabled or elderly neighbours, as well as relatives and acquaintances living in secluded rural areas.
  • Domestic animals also need greater care than usual. If possible, allow your outdoor dog to come inside. Outside, offer your dog warm food several times a day. Make sure that they have shelter from the wind and that they are not forced to lie on bare snow.