Fine Gael TD Noel Coonan for Tipperary/South Offaly has urged people across the two counties to make sure they are ready for any severe weather that may lie ahead in the coming months. Deputy Coonan was speaking as the Government launched its Winter Ready Campaign.
“Last year the country was ground to a veritable halt due to heavy snowfall and severe icy conditions. The cold snap had a significant impact on people’s lives, and on the economy. While we can’t prevent these severe weather events, we can do our utmost to make sure we’re all as prepared as possible.
“A number of lessons must be learned from last year. For that reason the Government Task Force on Emergency Planning has launched a Winter-Ready Information Campaign to give the public advice on how to prepare for the coming winter,” said Deputy Coonan. “Practical advice can be found on the new website www.winterready.ie. 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 by the Government to ensure a coordinated response is launched if needed. I would encourage everyone across Tipperary and South Offaly to take a look at the new website, and make themselves familiar with all relevant information.
“The gritting of roads was a major problem last year. This should be considerably alleviated thanks to additional salt stocks. There’s a total of 200,000 tonnes available to cover national, regional and local roads. This also includes a strategic reserve stock of 40,000 tonnes for priority routes in the event of a prolonged cold spell. Local authorities have been issued with guidelines on the spreading of grit, to ensure a consistent approach.
“We have no way of knowing at this stage whether we will be having another white Christmas, but the main message is clear; be prepared, stay safe and know where to find help should you need it,” concluded Deputy Coonan.