The Department of Rural and Community Development (DRCD) is taking the lead this year in producing the ‘Be Winter Ready’ leaflet. The focus this year will be on ‘Community Supports’ and DRCD would welcome input from community groups and other stakeholders. The leaflet is intended to provide helpful information about how to prepare for the winter in terms of community supports available (or that should be available) to the public during times of particularly severe weather. We hope to publish the leaflet in autumn 2018.
Extreme weather conditions are a challenge for communities and, as the recent example of Storm Emma has shown, combatting the effects of extreme weather calls for a community effort. While a whole of Government approach is coordinated through the work of the Office of Emergency Planning, solutions are implemented at a community level. We would like to tap into this experience and speak to community groups about the lessons learned over the last year. Particularly of interest is how information is communicated in an emergency situation: from the Office of Emergency Planning to the public and from the public to the Office of Emergency Planning.
The Department would like the next ‘Be Winter Ready’ leaflet to be informative, practical and concise. We would also like the leaflet to reflect our unique mission – to promote rural and community development and to support vibrant, inclusive and sustainable communities throughout Ireland. We believe that the work of our Department provides clear benefits to communities throughout the year. Supports like the Senior Alert Scheme provide peace of mind while our libraries are vital community hubs where people can access information and meet friends and neighbours.
In this way, while considering in general terms what information should be contained in the leaflet, we are also interested in your thoughts on which elements of the Department’s work are particularly relevant to supporting communities during spells of severe weather. Potential issues to be considered may include:
- Access to food
- Access to medical supplies/ treatment
- Dangerous road conditions
- Emergency services
- High wind speeds
- Home heating
- Loss of critical utilities (e.g. water shortage, electricity failure)
- Low temperatures
- Snow and ice
Those wishing to make submissions should consider the attached ‘Be Winter Ready’ leaflet, and outline how they feel the leaflet may be improved. The Department welcomes submissions in any format and does not wish to impose a template for responses. However, we would request that submissions are kept as brief as possible owing to the limited space available on the leaflet.
Queries and completed written submissions should be directed on or before 5pm on Thursday, 28 June 2018 to:
Ben Richardson Community and Voluntary Supports and Programmes
Department of Rural and Community Development
Trinity Point, 10-11 Leinster Street South, Dublin 2, D02 EF85