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The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Mr. Alan Shatter T.D., and the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Mr. Phil Hogan T.D., launch the ‘Be Winter-Ready’ 2013-2014 Information Campaign.

Today, the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Mr. Alan Shatter, T.D., and
Mr. Phil Hogan T.D. Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government launched the Government’s ‘Be Winter-Ready’ 2013-2014 Information Campaign at the National Emergency Coordination Centre in Dublin. Also in attendance were representatives from the various Departments and Agencies tasked with emergency response.

The launch coincided with a meeting of the Government Task Force on Emergency Planning, chaired by Minister Shatter, which dealt with winter-preparedness issues.

Through a dedicated website www.winterready.ie, advice is being made available from a number of sources including Government Departments, An Garda Síochána, the Health Service Executive, 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 a booklet which can be downloaded from the website.

The main objectives of the ‘Be Winter-Ready’ 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.

· 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.

Advice to the public is also available via Aertel page 592, and, in addition, this year a twitter account is being launched and the Office of Emergency Planning will be 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.

Both Ministers 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.

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