Community self-help plan aimed at dealing with snow problems

The Dromara area could be set for more snowy scenes like this one.
The Dromara area could be set for more snowy scenes like this one.

With the Met Office having issued a yellow warning of strong winds and snow across many parts of Northern Ireland, the council is urging local residents to be prepared for a severe weather emergency.

Keen to ensure that people are prepared to deal with severe weather if and when it hits, Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council recently launched a new pilot project in Dromara.

Local residents and stakeholders meeting to develop Dromara's Community Self-help Plan.

Local residents and stakeholders meeting to develop Dromara's Community Self-help Plan.

The project, which is being organised by the local authority in partnership between Dromara Community Association and the Regional Community Resilience Group, saw residents of Dromara village hold a meeting last month to develop a Community Self-help Plan to protect themselves, their property and any vulnerable adults during a local severe weather emergency.

The Dromara Community Self-help Plan is only as strong as the members that agree to participate and become involved, so the council is encouraging members of the local community, business owners and farmers to come along to the next meeting on January 18 at 6.45pm in Dromara Community Hall.

Urging people to attend the meeting, Councillor James Baird, Chairman of the council’s Environmental Services Committee, said: “Dromara village was identified because of its past incidents of severe weather including the spring blizzard of 2013 and flooding in 2008.

“With a combination of being located at a high altitude and a large number of residents there is a strong benefit to developing a Community Self-help Plan to prepare the Dromara community for dealing with severe weather.”

He continued: “There are a number of experts within key statutory organisations who attend these local community meetings to provide the residents with information and resources to develop a local capacity plan to respond and cope with severe weather when it occurs. These include the PSNI, NIFRS, the council, Rivers Agency, TransportNI, NI Water, NIE Networks and the Met Office.

“All project participants will receive a general household emergency life-saving plan, a household flood plan, a severe weather risk assessment and mapping information, details on how to safely clear snow and where applicable access to the TransportNI snow clearance agreement scheme for clearing roads.

“I am sure all Dromara residents will agree that this is a beneficial project and we look forward to seeing you on January 18.”

For more information about the pilot project contact Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council on 028 9250 9250.