Urgent update on the severe weather conditions in Dublin – 1st December 2010

As a result of the severe snow storm that hit the Dublin at 1.00pm today, traffic conditions have deteriorated and coupled with ground temperatures reaching between -12 C to -14 C, many roads have become impassable. As a result of the snow becoming ice this has compounded the already hazardous driving conditions.

To deal with these difficulties, a coordinated response has been put in place by the Regional Local Authorities (Dublin City Council, DunLaoghaire Rathdown County Council, Fingal County Council, South Dublin County Council, Wicklow County Council, Kildare County Council), the Health Service Executive, An Gárda Síochána and the Defence Forces in accordance with the major emergency framework.

To this end, a Local Co-ordination Centre has been set up in the Traffic Control Centre of Civic Offices, Wood Quay, Dublin 8 through which the 4 Dublin Local Authorities, the HSE and an Garda Síochána are coordinating their actions directly to deal with this situation.

Motorists are advised not to undertake journeys unless absolutely necessary. Tune into general news bulletins and to the Dublin City FM LiveDrive programme on 103.2 FM for real time updates on the state of the roads and general driving conditions.

The on/off ramps on the N11 and the M50 and the bridges in the city are causing particular difficulties for motorists.

We advise people to use public transport where possible and check the information on the relevant transport authority website before commencing your journey, for the most up to date information on services being provided. Remember to listen and watch news and weather bulletins, and to take the precautionary advice given by organisations such as An Garda Síochána, Met Eireann, the Road Safety Authority and Local Authorities as well as the HSE.

Met Eireann has advised that the current spell of severe weather is set to continue for at least another seven days. See below some advice from the HSE on how to cope in this weather:

• Wear well-fitting shoes with non-slip soles if you have to go out but try to limit walking during the current cold weather. Boots with rubber soles and solid ankle support are essential to prevent slips and falls on the ice.

• Keep your hands out of your pockets when out walking.

• If you have a fall, even a minor one, make sure you visit your doctor for a check up.

• Check in on elderly neighbours. Call in regularly on elderly friends, neighbours and relatives to see if they need help staying warm, have enough food, heat and prescription medications. Help older people to stay warm by ensuring that they are wearing layers of clothes, eating regular hot meals, drinking plenty of fluids.

• Food is fuel – eating well will help keep you warm.

• Clear the ice from your footpath and around your house and assist less capable neighbours in doing
the same.

• Keep active by walking around the house regularly.

• Wear several layers of light clothes instead of one thick layer. Wear clothes made from wool, cotton
or fleecy synthetic fibres.

• Keep your main living room at around 18 – 21oC (64 -70oF), and the rest of the house at least 16oC
(61oF). If you cannot heat all the rooms you use, keep the living room warm throughout the day
(21º C if active, 24º C if inactive).

• Close the curtains in the evening and heat your bedroom before going to bed and make sure the
room is warm before you get up in the morning.

Treating strains and sprains
• The initial treatment for both injuries is the same:
• Rest the injured part
• Apply ice or a cold pad to the injured area
• Comfortably support the injury using a bandage or soft padding
• Elevate the injured part

If you suspect a broken bone
• Support the limb
• Leave the casualty in the position found. Secure and support the injured part. You can use rolled
up blankets, cushions, clothes or whatever you have handy.
• Assess the severity of the injury and decide how to get the injured person to hospital. For example
if they have an arm injury, you may be able to drive them to the nearest Emergency Department
or Minor Injury Unit. If you suspect a broken leg or a spine or neck injury call 999.
• Treat for shock if required. Look for signs of shock including pale, cold and clammy skin, rapid then
weak pulse, fast and shallow breathing, sweating and complaints of nausea and thirst. If you
suspect shock, lie the casualty down and raise their legs above the level of their heart. Make sure
you keep the casualty warm.

Further information on health services in your area is available through the HSE Information Line on 1850 24 1850 and on the HSE website, http://www.hse.ie. This information will be regularly updated during the course of the adverse weather conditions.

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