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Snow, frost and cold snaps
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Snow, frost and cold snaps

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Risk of snow

With the onset of winter, it is well worth being prepared for hazards such as snow and frost, caused by intense cold.

The orography of Catalonia means that its climate it characterised by extreme variability. As a result, heavy snowfall can occur in unexpected places causing a number of problems for inhabitants.


The characteristics of snow emergencies are such that it is necessary to unfold a plan that provides a fast, effective response. The goal of the NEUCAT plan is to minimise potential damage to people, property and the environment, whilst restoring basic services for people as quickly as possible.

The NEUCAT plan foresees several specific actions and it can be viewed on the web page of the Directorate-General for Emergencies


Prevention when faced with a storm

In a building:

  • Ensure you have ready: a transistor radio and spare batteries, torches, food that is high in calories, fuel for heating and a first-aid kit with the usual medicines.

In the car:

  • Check the state of the batteries, the petrol tank, the lights, the brakes, the tyres, the heating, the windscreen, etc.
  • Plan your journey: drive along main routes and motorways and avoid driving at night.

In an imminent hazard situation:

Check the media for information on the weather forecast, the situation on the roads and which routes to follow:

If you experience an emergency situation, call 112 immediately and provide as much information as possible.

During snowfall

If you are at home or inside a building:

  • Listen to the radio.
  • Use heating appropriately and unplug any unnecessary electrical devices.
  • Do not allow elderly people and toddlers to go outside.

If you are outside:

  • You should especially shield your head and face and avoid breathing in cold air directly. Cover yourself properly, wearing several layers of light clothing.
  • Avoid overexertion as you risk causing yourself an injury.

If you need to drive when it is snowing:

  • If it starts to snow, drive slowly and steadily.
  • Snow chains should be put on the drive wheels at a place that will not affect traffic.
  • Put on your dipped headlights and fog lights.
  • If you are travelling downhill, leave more of a distance between your car and the one ahead of you.
  • Drive carefully in shady places, as they may be icy. If there is ice, do not brake suddenly.

If you are in your car during a storm:

  • Try to seek shelter. If you are unable to do so, remain in the car as the tyres act as an insulator to the cold. Place a bright-coloured handkerchief on your car aerial so you can be seen.
  • Leave the heating on and one of the windows ajar. Do not fall asleep with the engine running.
  • Keep the exhaust pipe free of blockage to prevent fumes from entering the vehicle.

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