NDMA issues guideline for cold-wave management in Northern Areas

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The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on Tuesday issued a detailed guideline for cold-wave management as extremely low temperatures were being recorded in the Northern Areas of the country. The NDMA guideline issued here underlined that the cold-wave-like conditions and extremely low temperatures were being experienced in northern part of the country which could further accentuate in the coming days. The Authority said as per the advisory there was a need to take timely precautions to ensure personal and collective safety in extreme weather conditions.

The NDMA issued separate guidelines for disaster management authorities, the general public and travelers underscoring that the following guidelines were to be considered and undertaken by all concerned in addition to any measure deemed appropriate based on local needs and requirements by all the departments concerned including the provincial disaster management authorities (PDMAs), Gilgit Baltistan Disaster Management Authority (GBDMA), State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA), Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Administration, government departments and Local Administrations particularly the district disaster management authorities (DDMAs), Rescue Organizations and law enforcement agencies (LEAs).

It advised the concerned to undertake an awareness campaign and ensure widespread dissemination of risks posed by extremely cold weather. Also, ensure coordination with National Highway Authority (NHA), Frontier Works Organization (FWO), Construction and Works Department (C&W) and line departments for timely snow and ice clearance to keep communication arteries open.

The rescue services should remain vigilant for extreme cold related emergencies and incidents and may carry warm clothing or blankets and drinking water etc. However, the LEAs along with Traffic Police would have to advise travelers regarding likely situation, risks of road closure or slippery conditions and use of precautionary measures.

It also guided to ensure timely restoration of electricity and gas supply in case of disruption in residential areas or hospitals and to emergency services. Moreover, the identification or preparation of road diversions would have to be made to ensure road closures where required in view if extreme snow fall.

The authorities were also required to ensure measures to stop road movement in snow affected areas that can result in blockages etc. whereas hospitals and medical facilities to ensure preparedness for treatment of causes related to cold weather i.e. hypothermia, frostbite, etc.—APP