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Kerry Community Communications Project Siobhán Griffin.

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1 Kerry Community Communications Project Siobhán Griffin

2 Goal The goal of the communications network project is to ensure that in the event of a public emergency, community communication channels are formally in place.

3 Background to the Project Severe Weather – emails to 528 Community and Voluntary Forum Register members requesting vigilance and community awareness re vulnerable citizens. Feedback gave guidance Proposal developed

4 Implementation Steering Group Community & Voluntary Forum, Kerry County Council including County Manager, Fire Service, Civil Defence and Communications Officer. First step was to raise awareness that the Community & Voluntary Forum is well placed to assist in an emergency situation.

5 Fundamental agreements Efforts should be focused on partnering with community based organisations that serve the community sector especially groups with particular needs. e.g. - People with disabilities - Older people - People with limited language proficiency Valuable contacts already exist including Rural Social Scheme, Kerry Community Transport, Local Development Groups, Hello Kerry, Community Alert and the Immigrants Forum. Collaboration is key

6 Developing a Community Communications Network Conference Friday, 15 th October 9.00am – 4.30pm Meadowlands Hotel, Tralee You are cordially invited to attend and participate in The goal of the Community Communications Network project is to ensure that in the event of a public emergency, community communications channels are formally in place and that members are able to notify individuals, especially those with particular needs, of appropriate action. Formal presentations will be made by service providers on the responses and challenges posed by the weather emergency in December 2009/January 2010. Community groups will present case studies on their experiences. Workshops will be held to address the key areas for action. Booking Form is attached. Please book your place before Monday, 11 th October as places are limited. The Social Inclusion Division of the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs supports this project as part of its funding initiative for the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion.


8 Conference Workshops Workshops included: -Groups with Particular Needs -Best Communications Methods -Training Requirements -Gaps Identified in Last Year’s Emergency -Role of Community Representatives The Steering group met to examine the workshop feedback and to develop concrete actions. During the subsequent cold spell certain actions were undertaken as a result of the Conference. (advertised grit depots, publicising Radio Kerry bulletins etc)

9 Meeting of Main Stakeholders It was agreed that a set of achievable and manageable priorities would be developed from the suggested actions arising out of the conference. The main priorities agreed by the network members for 2011 were: -The Network should be developed in agreed Geographic Areas. -A Structured List of Contacts for the Network to be developed -A Structured Media and Communication Strategy. -The need to build on existing community resilience initiatives and to develop new ones. “Do not reinvent the wheel”

10 Implementation Framework Developing the Community Communications Structure Promoting Preparedness & Resilience

11 Promoting Resilience and Preparedness Leaflets - not just publishing disseminating…….( input from voluntary sector, NCBI advice etc) Meetings – County level and at local level Email bulletins using the County Register of Community & Voluntary Groups (currently 658) Working with existing groups – local networks, Local Development/LEADER,RSS, Older Persons Fora – e.g. Sean Cháirde

12 Useful Emergency Numbers Information Fridge magnet/card

13 Community Communications Network Structure County divided into functional areas – linking with Local Development Areas First step was to develop a list of agreed county contacts before the winter of 2011/2012, with 2-3 local co-ordinators in each area, with their own list of volunteers, resources etc. Existing groups eg Community Care Groups/Community Alert Groups would act as co- ordinating bodies for their local areas since they already have the appropriate knowledge and legal framework.


15 Feedback from local meetings The Meals on Wheels service operated with difficulty, drivers had difficulties, frozen pipes in centres. Gritting depots weren’t easily accessible. Personal alarms not being worn. Many accidents happened while bringing fuel into the house and grocery shopping an issue (equally an issue in urban and rural areas) Poor mobile phone coverage. Problem with Broadband coverage Radio Kerry and Kerry Community Transport were praised for their contributions. Generally conceded that lack of preparedness was an issue throughout the community.

16 Kerry Community & Voluntary Forum Broadband Survey 429 Valid Responses with balanced coverage of the County. Large areas of the County have no or limited coverage. Only half of the responses came from those with a ‘landline’ supply. A worrying factor is the number who receive their signal by line of sight from small private operators. It is also noted from many of the responses that the maximum speeds available in the County are far below those available in other parts of the Country; with very few obtaining anything greater than 5mb. It should also be noted that this survey was conducted via the Internet with those who had little or no coverage informing us of this through another more reliable Internet connection

17 Establishing the local structures Two pilot areas initially – direct contact worked well. Local identification of groups already involved in this work. (Community Employment, Rural Social Scheme etc) 2/3 Local Area Coordinators identified Working with local groups on the Local Community Emergency Plans A work in progress……..needs resources especially time

18 Area Coordinators’ Structure Area Co-ordinators 2/3 Information on Local Resources Formal Contact with Council Local Information on Roads, Local Community level issues Vulnerable People with personal difficulties e.g. essential transport, fuel, plumbing, shopping Informal visitation

19 Local Organisation example KILLORGLIN AREA Cromane GlencarGlenbeighBeaufortCastlemaineMilltown Central Co- ordination 2/3 people per area Linked to RSS Scheme/existing organisations

20 Challenges Existing Major Emergency Plan arrangements Civil Defence Community Sector’s Role Clear Relationship

21 Learning Important to work with existing organisations on the ground. There is a need to build relationships. (recent example is Wildfire Interagency group) Understand limitations – where does this project fit with; - existing emergency structure? - Local Authority structures? Continuous need to promote community preparedness and resilience. Main resource required is staff time and a small budget.

22 Going Forward Continue the Information campaign – KCC website Continue to build the relationship with Civil Defence to agree role/limitations. Identify training at local level. Address the insurance issue Finalise Resource Materials Continue to roll out the project in the County.

23 Go Raibh Maith Agat

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