Fine Gael TD for Kildare South, Martin Heydon, is urging people across Kildare South to make sure they are ready for any severe weather that may lie ahead in the coming months. Deputy Heydon was speaking today (Thursday) as the Government launched its Winter Ready Campaign. The launch coincided with a meeting of the Government Task Force on Emergency Planning, chaired by Minister Coveney, which dealt with winter-preparedness issues.
“We have been lucky with a relatively good summer but this week has reminded us of what could lie ahead so now is a good time to be preparing for Winter. Today’s launch featured a new website http://www.winterready.ie/ which has lots of practical advice for people facing into the next few months. A new booklet is also available which contains much of the advice. Copies of the booklet can be found on the website or from my office.
“Lessons have been learned from previous years when heavy snow falls and severe icy conditions brought difficult conditions. While we can’t prevent these severe weather events, we can do our best to make sure we’re all as prepared as possible. We are trying to ensure that the public know where to find advice if they need it, and to reassure them that arrangements are being put in place by the Government to ensure a coordinated response is launched if needed. I would encourage everyone across Kildare to take a look at the website, and make themselves familiar with all relevant information.
“The gritting of roads has been a major problem in recent years. I welcome the confirmation today from Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe that the Government currently has access to 211,000 tonnes of salt should we be faced with snow storms that have in the past ground the country to a halt. A spokesperson for the National Roads Authority (NRA) said that €1.8 million has been spent on ensuring we have enough salt for our roads which represents a significant increase in the amount of salt available as during the last major snow “emergency” we need just over 100,000 tonnes.
“For those active on social media, 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 https://twitter.com/@emergencyIE and I would encourage you to join in the conversation at https://twitter.com/hashtag/bewinterready
“Unfortunately we have no way of knowing at this stage whether we will have a white Christmas, but the main message from today is clear; be prepared, stay safe and know where to find help should you need it.”