‘Be Winter Ready’ is a co-ordinated campaign involving statutory services that aims to raise public awareness about the challenges that winter can present.
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 onset of the Covid-19 crisis and are now asking the people of Cork and Kerry to continue to stay 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 for the region encouraged the public to protect the health service this winter by taking up both the flu and Covid-19 vaccines when it’s offered. Walk-in clinics are still available for anyone who hasn’t received the full course of Covid-19 vaccines, and certain groups are now being offered third doses and booster vaccines. The flu vaccine is also available at the moment free of charge to certain groups, including healthcare workers; those aged over 65; and children aged between 2 and 17. Again, we’d encourage you to look into getting the flu vaccination as soon as possible.
- Public Health has also reminded everyone that if they have any symptoms of Covid-19, they should not be out and about and should book a Covid-19 test as soon as possible. See hse.ie or ring HSELIVE on 1850 24 1850 for more.
- 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) are providing information on the salting routes which will be covered in the event of cold weather. Each Local Authority also communicates extensive updates on severe weather through their relevant digital channels. Cork County Council's Winter Service Plan is available on Severe Weather Information, Warnings & Road Alerts.
- The firefighters of Cork City, Cork County, and Kerry County Fire Services ask that householders check their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working, and if they’re not already installed, to get them installed.
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.
Visit Be Winter Ready for useful tips and information including advice on how to avoid trips and falls, and how to make sure your home and family are prepared for winter.