SWAT team prepared to deal with severe weather events
A SWAT team operating out of South Dublin County Council have ensured the public that they are prepared to deal with any severe weather events, given recent storms hitting the country.
At the March monthly meeting of the local authority, Fianna Fáil Cllr Charlie O’Connor requested that the Chief Executive, Daniel McLoughlin, report on the success of actions taken to deal with recent serious weather events.
The council outlined how they took particular consideration of Storms Dudley, Eunice and Franklin and outlined their response plan.
On foot of Met Eireann weather warnings, the council’s Severe Weather Assessment Team (SWAT) meet to assess the readiness to deal with storms and severe weather events.
The core purpose is to put preventative measures in place as required.
This SWAT team is made up of senior staff from across the organisation and they operate under a major emergency management framework.
There is the Major Emergency Plan, Flood Emergency Plan, Severe Weather Plan, and Rest Centre Plan under this framework.
Should a status yellow weather warning be issued, the Severe Weather Plan kicks-in through a general notification being circulated and inspections being carried out of key infrastructure and equipment.
A status orange alert triggers a SWAT meeting, comprised of management from all departments who discuss issues specific to the weather event and to compile an action plan.
Status red puts SWAT into high alert and they become a “crisis management team”, meeting as much as necessary whether it be “hourly” or “twice daily” depending on the dynamics of the event.
The council did state that a status red alert “should be a comparatively rare event and implies that recipients take action to protect themselves and/or their properties”.
In advance of the recent storms, SWAT met to review their “preparedness” and conducted clearing of trash screens at culverts to prevent possible flooding, operational crews being placed on standby, weather warnings and travel advices being circulated online.
SWAT meets every year in advance of winter to plan the season ahead and ensure appropriate countermeasures are put in place to deal with any severe weather events.