Very hot days and heat waves are increasing during the summer in Athens! They are increasing in intensity, frequency and duration, due to climate change. The Municipality of Athens is preparing and shielding itself through a series of initiatives for a #CoolAthens.
Few, especially in the Mediterranean countries, recognize that exposure to heat seriously endangers our health. Although heatwaves are the deadliest extreme weather event, its danger is still widely underestimated.

Και η ζέστη ανεβαίνει!

The elderly, babies and young children, nursing and pregnant women, outdoor workers and those employed in physically demanding jobs, the homeless, and people with chronic diseases are more vulnerable. Keep them in mind, they are in serious danger!

We are all at high risk in heat waves! Get informed!

Classification of heatwaves

The Municipality of Athens informs and protects!

The Municipality of Athens, in collaboration with the Athens Observatory, the Arsht Rock Resilience Center, and 5 other international cities, as well as with the contribution of world-renowned scientists, started last year to "categorize" heat waves! Just as there are categories for wind intensity or bad weather, there are now categories for heat waves, the most dangerous extreme weather phenomenon for our health, which we record and evaluate!

The categorization system is based on an algorithm developed specifically for the city of Athens, through the correlation of two decades of historical weather data and mortality data from ELSTAT.

Actions of the Municipality
for Athenian heatwaves

  • Training seminars by the Hellenic Red Cross for employees in the Health Department of the Municipality of Athens, and for those working in the Municipality’s Friendship Clubs and in the "Help at Home+" program, to prevent and deal with the effects of heat waves on the health of vulnerable populations.
  • Helpline 210-3638049 run by the Clinics of the Municipality of Athens with information and support for residents during heatwaves: 8:00 - 20:00.
  • New website of the Municipality of Athens dedicated to the protection and support of city residents during high temperatures and sending timely messages with the services of the Municipality (Early Warning Messaging System) and information on the protection of residents during heat waves.
  • Operation of the EXTREMA Global mobile application with real-time personalized risk information during hot summer days. The app includes maps of the nearest cooling centers, the coolest routes for each destination, and information on air pollution levels.
  • Extension of hours for 7 Cool Centers at Friendship Clubs for all our fellow citizens without discrimination during the hot days: 8.00-20.00.
  • Support for the elderly through the "Help at Home+" program to prevent and treat the symptoms of extreme heat inside their homes. Expansion of the program through volunteers of the Hellenic Red Cross.

Survival guide for Athenian heatwaves

Download the EXTREMA Global app
to see if you are in danger and navigate through cool routes and cool areas in the city!
Schedule your chores
during the cool hours of the day. If you must go out during the hottest part of the day, wear a hat, sunscreen and take water with you! Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing made from natural materials.
Frequent cold showers
at regular intervals throughout the day without drying with a towel. Alternatively, or additionally, you can regularly put a cool wet cloth on your head and neck!
Small light meals! Fruit and vegetables!
If you sweat a lot, add salt to your food.
Drink at least 1.5 liters of water and/or juices during the day
even if you are not thirsty. Do not consume alcohol, coffee or soft drinks with a lot of sugar.
Help the most vulnerable:
Infants, small children, pregnant women and nursing mothers! Elderly and people with chronic diseases! Outdoor workers and those with physically demanding jobs!
Cover up!
Relax in shady, cool, air-conditioned areas. Don't exercise. If you go out, wear a hat, take water and sunscreen!
Don't forget your four-legged friends!
Make sure they always have cool water and are in the shade and in cool places with you.
The temperature inside a parked car doubles in minutes.
Children, elderly people and animals are at risk, even on long journeys.

A cooler house on very hot days!

Close curtains, blinds and shutters, and make sure windows are completely shut in the morning before the temperatures start to rise, especially on the sides of the house where the sun falls. Close the external awnings on balconies as well.

Open the windows in the evening when it is cooler outside. Try to get drafts into the house early in the morning and late at night. Raise the awnings to let the air move.

Stay at home, if possible, and don't go out during the hottest hours of the day, which are from 11.00 a.m. until 6.00 p.m.

Keep a room cooler with a fan or air-conditioner. Keep the room as tightly sealed as possible so that no cool air is lost through half-open windows or under doors.

Turn off lights and any other electrical items you don't need that use energy. Use the washing machine in the evening.

Prepare light and cool meals that can be made without much time in the oven or on the stove.

If you can't cool off at home, go to an air-conditioned public place and stay there for at least 2 hours a day to cool down your body temperature.

How to help someone having a heatstroke

  • First contact 166 and follow their instructions.
  • Move the person to a shaded area. If possible, completely remove or loosen their clothing.
  • Place a damp cloth on their head and neck to reduce body temperature.
  • If the patient is still conscious, give them some water to drink slowly.
  • If they are unconscious, place the patient in the "fetal position" and wait until specialist help arrives.