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Government launches Be Winter Ready Information Campaign 2017-2018
Government Task Force on Emergency Planning

The Government today launched the ‘Be Winter-Ready’ 2017 -2018 Information Campaign focusing this year on health preparedness for older people, including the promotion of influenza vaccination.

This important information campaign was jointly launched by the Minister with responsibility for Defence, Mr. Paul Kehoe, T.D., as Chair of the Government Task Force on Emergency Planning, Mr. Simon Harris T.D., Minister for Health, Mr. Shane Ross T.D., Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Mr. Michael Ring T.D., Minister for Rural and Community Development, Mr. Damien English, Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government with special responsibility for Housing and Urban Development, and Mr. Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief.

Also in attendance were representatives from the various Departments and Agencies tasked with emergency planning and response. The launch coincided with a meeting of the Government Task Force on Emergency Planning, chaired by Minister Kehoe, which dealt with winter-preparedness issues.

Speaking at the launch Minister Kehoe said “The ‘Be Winter-Ready’ campaign is intended to give the public advice on the particular challenges that the winter period can present. This year’s ‘Be Winter-Ready’ campaign is focused on health preparedness for older people, including the promotion of influenza vaccination. It is the product of close collaboration between the Office of Emergency Planning, the Department of Health and the HSE, resulting in a well-designed and very informative leaflet.

Minister Kehoe continued saying that “Older people are one of the most vulnerable groups in our society to the hardship that severe weather can inflict. The campaign highlights the whole of government approach being taken to winter preparations, it informs the public on what is being done and where they can source information.”

All of Ministers at the launch stressed that the main message that they wish to convey today is –
“to be prepared, stay safe and know where to find help if you need it.”

ENDS



Note to Editor

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 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.

The advice has been categorised under various headings including: the Home, Road Safety, Schools, the Farming Community and the Business Sector. A synopsis of the information available has been compiled into an updated “Be Winter Ready” booklet.

All Government Departments and Agencies have also been requested to promote the “Be Winter Ready” information campaign through their own websites and over social media and to regularly update their own preparations and information campaigns as a “Whole of Government” approach to winter preparations.

In addition, the Office of Emergency Planning will be regularly tweeting during the winter period to augment the ‘Be Winter Ready’ campaign. The twitter account can be followed on @emergencyIE and the public are being encouraged to join in the conversation at #bewinterready.




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