Following the cold wave watch for Seoul, Gyeonggi-do, and Gangwon-do issued by the Korea Meteorological Administration, as of 22:00 on December 1, the Seoul Metropolitan Government resumed the operation of the Cold Wave Response Headquarters, and will continue to operate it until March 15, 2015, in order to reinforce the city’s winter safety measures and protect the city’s citizens.
The main responsibilities of the Cold Wave Response Headquarters include: the protection and support of underprivileged people, including the homeless, elderly living alone, and residents of dosshouse towns; facilities damage prevention and safety measures; emergency response and first aid services; and provision of promotional information and guidelines for Seoul citizens.
Through the Cold Wave Response Headquarters, the Seoul Metropolitan Government hopes to protect those whose daily lives will be greatly affected due to the cold wave, including the homeless and elderly people living alone. Moreover, city officials will patrol critical areas, such as underground walkways, parks, and public bathrooms, mainly during the early hours of the morning when people are most at risk.
《6,800 Helpers Working during the Cold Wave to Help People with Disabilities and the Elderly Living Alone and Prevent Damage from the Cold 》
Currently, more than 6,800 nurses, visiting health care workers, and social workers in Seoul are working hard to prevent deaths caused by the cold wave among the homeless and the elderly living alone. They carry out these services through personal visits or phone calls.
Also, 662 resident centers, welfare centers, and senior citizen centers will be designated and operated as cold wave shelters, so that people can come in out of the cold, particularly at night.
Furthermore, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will protect construction and industrial workers by advising construction companies against engaging in outside construction work in extremely cold weather. It will also operate a cold wave emergency service team that is connected to emergency medical organizations and a cold wave monitoring system to check for any damage from the cold weather. Related officials are expected to visit construction sites to determine whether these policies are being carried out.
In emergency cases of exposure to the cold, the 119 rescue team will respond to the call and provide on-site emergency care, take the patient to the closest designated medical center, and determine the proper treatment there.
《Safety Management of Major Facilities, such as Gas Pipes and Subway Lines, Preventing the Water Meter from Freezing and Bursting, Restoring Broken Water Meter》
Meanwhile, related organizations and district governments will perform special checks on facilities during the Cold Wave Response period, particularly for gas-related facilities and subway lines, which are prone to accidents in extreme cold weather.
Furthermore, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will have its emergency water meter restoration team quickly fix or replace any leaking or frozen water meters, should any water meters be frozen or ruptured.
In response to the significant increase in energy use in the winter, the city government plans to establish a response system for each level of potential power crisis and operate an emergency response and repair team. In the event of widespread power outages, the government will immediately check the safety of the elderly living alone and people living in dosshouse towns. If poor heating conditions or casualties are expected from the cold weather, the affected individuals will be moved to resident centers, welfare centers, senior citizen centers, or emergency rescue centers for protection.