Go to Main Content

Welfare, Health & Security News

  • Seoul Frozen Under Snow and Cold Wave… Essential Information for Winter

  • Welfare, Health & Security News SMG 4690

    The SMG is publishing essential information to prepare for the harsh winter, such as cold waves and heavy snow. Citizens are advised to keep facilities well maintained and stay healthy in the bitter cold.

    ☞ How to respond to cold waves and heavy snow (Seoul Safety Nuri): https://safecity.seoul.go.kr/global/index.do?&lang=en

    What are some action tips for citizens following the cold wave advisory issued for the first time in three years in Seoul?

    The SMG has organized the Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters in preparation for cold waves and heavy snow starting Dec. 2 and began its 24/7 emergency operation.

    When cold wave alerts (i.e. warnings, advisories) are issued, the SMG begins to operate its comprehensive cold wave control room in five teams: overall situation team; living support team; facility recovery team; crop countermeasures team; and rescue and emergency medical services team.

    When temperatures greatly plummet, people with high blood pressure or cardiovascular conditions should make sure to keep exposed parts of their body warm, such as their head and hands. When driving, drivers of manual transmission vehicles should use the second gear in half clutch, while drivers of automatic transmission vehicles should gently step on the accelerator; all drivers must start their vehicles with the front wheels set straight so as to prevent skidding.

    Preventing water pipes and meters from freezing by advisory level

    ■ Risk of freezing and bursting (levels 1–4)

    Risk of freezing and bursting (levels 1–4)
    Level Criteria Action tips
    Daily low of above -5℃
    (constant possibility of freezing and bursting)
    • Fill the water meter box with insulating materials, such as old clothes
    • Block the cold air from outside by covering the cover with plastic.
    • Exposed pipes or boilers for outside bathrooms should be covered with insulating materials to protect from the outside cold air
    Daily low of -5℃ to -10℃
    (occurrence of freezing and bursting)
    • Re-inspect the insulation methods for the water meter, exposed pipes, boiler, and bathroom.
    Daily low of -10℃ to -15℃
    (dangerous level of freezing and bursting); longer than two days
    • Keep the faucets running at low flow when leaving the house for long hours even if you have followed the insulation measures
    Daily low of below -15℃
    (mass occurrences of freezing and bursting); longer than two days
    • Keep the faucets running at low flow when leaving the house even for short hours and during nighttime even if you have followed the insulation measures

    When risk of freezing and bursting is at level 4, there is a high risk of freezing and bursting water meters even if it is insulated from cold air. Thus, it is recommended for users to keep their faucets running at low flow when leaving the house or during nighttime.

    As for the water flow to effectively prevent freezing and bursting of pipes, it should stream out at a rate that can fill up a disposable cup in 45 seconds when the daily low is below -10℃ and in 33 seconds when below -15℃.

    When the water meter is frozen and broken or the water pipes have burst, report to the Dasan Call Center (+82-2-120) or your local water supply office.

    ■ Contact information of water supply offices by district

    Contact information of water supply offices by district
    Water Supply Office Districts Contact
    Jungbu Water Supply Office Jongno-gu, Jung-gu, Yongsan-gu, Seongbuk-gu +82-2-3146-2000
    Seobu Water Supply Office Eunpyeong-gu, Seodaemun-gu, Mapo-gu +82-2-3146-3500
    Dongbu Water Supply Office Seongdong-gu, Gwangjin-gu, Dongdaemun-gu +82-2-3146-2600
    Bukbu Water Supply Office Gangbuk-gu, Dobong-gu, Nowon-gu +82-2-3146-3200
    Gangseo Water Supply Office Yangcheon-gu, Gangseo-gu, Guro-gu +82-2-3146-3800
    Nambu Water Supply Office Dongjak-gu, Gwanak-gu, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Geumcheon-gu +82-2-3146-4400
    Gangnam Water Supply Office Gangnam-go, Seocho-gu +82-2-3146-4700
    Gangdong Water Supply Office Songpa-gu, Gangdong-gu +82-2-3146-5000
    Scope of snow removal and locations of snow remover boxes

    The SMG has also started the emergency operation of a snow response team. It responds to prevent icy roads not only in vulnerable areas, such as steep slopes and frequently frozen zones, but also roads around COVID-19 screening clinics and community treatment centers.

    The infirm and vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, children and those with cardiovascular diseases, should refrain from going out when it snows heavily. Additionally, citizens should remove the snow in front of their house and carefully manage the snow piled on roofs and eaves.

    ■ During heavy snow

    During heavy snow
    Preparations During snowfall
    – Check for safety and repair the roof, walls, water meters, and water pipes if your house is old.
    – Prepare calcium chloride or sand in front of your house or store or in the alley.
    – Don’t park your car on the roadside of the main road so that the snow-removing work can be smoothly conducted.
    – Check the weather forecast on TV, the Internet, or radio.
    – Use public transportation, such as the subway and buses, if possible.
    – Refrain from going out if you are a child or a senior citizen.
    – Refrain from going out if you are a child, a senior citizen, or a person with cardiovascular disease.
    – Remove the snow on your vehicle, in front of your house, and on the roof and eaves.
    – Dress in layers, wear gloves, a hat, and a muffler. Wear anti-slip sneakers or hiking boots.
    – Don’t keep your hands in your pockets when walking on a snowy street.
    – Use public transportation, such as the subway and buses, if possible.
    – Watch out for icicles or the snow falling down from sloping roofs.

    The scope of area and time for snow removal is as follows. You should remove the snow within 4 hours if it snows during daytime and until 11 AM of the next day if it snows during nighttime (that being said, within 24 hours if it snowed thicker than 10 cm per day).

    The range of removing the snow and ice is the whole area that is adjoining the structure. If the front of your house is a backside road or a sidewalk, you should remove the snow and ice until 1 meter from the land parcel of your house (in front of the main gate for residential buildings and around the building for non-residential buildings).

    Snow should be removed 1 meter in front of the house and around the store, and on entire sidewalks.