Council to implement ‘Early Warning System’ before next winter

Donegal County Council is to develop a text messaging system to warn consumers of difficulties during bad weather periods. A council meeting yesterday spent several hours debating a report on the council's response to the severe weather in November and December. One of the key problems identified in the report is that of communications.

The emergency lines were being dealt with at a call centre outside the county, but most calls were not answered, and there was widespread dissatisfaction reported with the service.

County Manager Seamus Neely says the council will in future operate its own emergency system, but given the level of calls received in December, the council will seek to set up an early warning system using text messages and e-mail, as well as improving the council's use of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

He says an early warning system should drastically reduce the number of emergency calls...........