The campaign was jointly launched by Patrick O’Donovan T.D, Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works, and Minister of State at the Department of Transport with special responsibility for International and Road Transport and Logistics, Hildegarde Naughton T.D. Also present was Ms. Evelyn Cusack, Head of Forecasting at Met Éireann.

The Be Winter-Ready campaign, which is in its twelfth year, is intended to raise awareness about the particular challenges that winter can present and provides coordinated and cross-cutting approach to public safety messaging and the dissemination of information on winter preparations

This information campaign is now a well-established and important annual event impacting across the whole public service.

The campaign highlights the ‘Whole of Government’ approach being taken to winter preparations.

This sort of approach was seen during recent storms and severe weather events that occurred over the past number of years which posed challenges for individuals, communities, businesses, Government Departments and Agencies.

Importantly, the Be Winter-Ready’ campaign informs the public of what is being done in relation to winter preparations and where they can source valuable information that can assist them through a difficult period.

This year’s Be Winter-Ready’ campaign focused message is “Guidance on Flooding”. The Office of Emergency Planning, in collaboration with their colleagues in the Office of Public Works, have designed and produced a leaflet on flooding. This leaflet and leaflets from previous Be Winter Ready campaigns are available on the winterready.ie website.

During the launch Minister Patrick O’Donovan said:

While the Government cannot eliminate the risk of flooding, it is investing heavily in protecting people and properties identified as being at significant risk of flooding now and in the future.

Individuals and communities can also play a significant role in managing and reducing the impact of flooding by planning in advance.

This is the central message of the ‘Be Winter Ready’ campaign: be prepared, stay safe and know where to find help if you need it.

The ‘Be Winter-Ready’ website and the ‘Be Winter-Ready’ booklet provide very useful and practical guidance to individuals on how to protect their homes and their livelihoods in the event of a flood, with safety being the key priority.

Minister Hildegard Naughton added:

Each year the Be Winter Ready campaign gives us an opportunity to consider what we can do, both individually and collectively, to prepare for the challenges and risks the winter months can present and to make our communities resilient.

Minister Naughton also took the opportunity the confirm that Irish transport operators have detailed contingency plans in place to deal with the impacts of adverse weather conditions this winter.

She also reminded all those who use our roads – whether as motorists, cyclists, or pedestrians – that there are steps that can be taken to both prepare and protect themselves and others the roads over the winter months.

USEFUL WEBSITES AND SOCIAL CHANNELS

Weather

Met Éireann app – available from itunes app store and google play

The app now includes push notifications for all weather warnings

The main objectives of the ‘Be Winter-Ready’ information campaign are:

  • To provide practical advice on how best to prepare for the coming winter.
  • To ensure the public are aware of where advice and help can be found, if needed, and
  • To reassure the public that preparations are being made and arrangements have been put in place to ensure that there will be a coordinated response to severe weather events.

Through a dedicated website www.winterready.ie, advice is being made available from a wide number of sources including Government Departments and Agencies, An Garda Síochána, the Health Service Executive, the Office of Public Works, Local Authorities and the transport providers.

In addition, the Office of Emergency Planning will be regularly tweeting during the winter period to augment the ‘Be Winter Ready’ campaign in tandem with other media campaigns in the national press and over radio. The twitter account can be followed on @emergencyIE and the public are being encouraged to join in the conversation using the hashtag #bewinterready.

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