8 November 2020
By Bryan Smyth
The Cork and Kerry Inter-Agency Emergency Management Region South is asking everyone to be ‘Winter Ready’ for 2020.
‘Be Winter Ready’ is a co-ordinated campaign involving statutory services which aims to raise public awareness about the challenges which Winter can present. This year will require even further preparedness as the battle to control COVID -19 continues.
The Cork and Kerry Inter-Agency Emergency Management Region South includes An Garda Síochána, the Health Service Executive, Cork City Council, Cork County Council and Kerry County Council. These agencies have been working together since the start of the COVID-19 crisis to co-ordinate the community response and are now asking the people of Cork to continue to assist communities in staying safe and ‘Be Winter Ready’.
Each agency is providing key information such as;
- An Garda Síochána and the importance of being aware of weather conditions when driving this winter.
- The HSE Department of Public Health again reiterated the importance of being alert for symptoms of COVID-19. If you have COVID-19, or if you have symptoms and are waiting for a test or a result then you must self-isolate (stay in your room). If you are a close contact, or if you have just arrived into Ireland, you must restrict your movements (stay at home). For more information on COVID-19 symptoms and stopping the spread, see hse.ie or contact 1850 24 1850.
- Cork Kerry Community Healthcare highlighted the importance of minding our health this winter. This is particularly important for anyone with a long-term health condition. See www.hse.ie/selfmanagementsupport for useful advice.
- The South/South West Hospital Group are asking the public to consider using Injury Units when appropriate (including the Mercy University Hospital Injury Unit at the St Mary’s Health campus; the Mallow Injury Unit and the Bantry Injury Unit) instead of presenting to Emergency Departments where possible.
- Local Authorities (Cork City Council, Cork County Council and Kerry County Council) promoted the salting routes which will be covered in the event of cold weather. The Councils also communicate extensive updates on severe weather throughout their relevant digital channels.
Specially prepared Winter Ready magnets have also been prepared which will be distributed via the agencies across Cork and Kerry. The magnets will provide specific contact details for use during an emergency such as contact numbers for ESB, Irish Water, local Garda station and the Council.
The webpage www.winterready.ie has useful tips and information for members of the public, including advice on how to avoid trips and falls, and how to make sure your home and family are prepared for winter.
Community supports are available in Cork through two free Community Call helplines, open 9am to 5pm, seven days a week:
- Cork County Council’s – 1800 805 819, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by text to (085) 8709010
- Cork City Council – 1800 222 226 email@example.com
In support of this year’s local Winter Ready Campaign, each of the agencies will be in touch next with more details on elements of their individual initiatives.
On Monday November 9th, An Garda Síochána will circulate messages and advice on road safety, including opinion pieces and radio clip.
On Tuesday November 10th, Cork Kerry Community Healthcare will have expert advice available on how anyone with a chronic health condition can stay well this winter
On Wednesday November 11th, Cork County Council, Cork City Council and Kerry County Council will have details on salting routes and reminders about the support provided by Community Call helplines.