Risks in not having/ using/ knowing what to do in response to an emergency
- As the aim of our project is to assess Ireland’s possible response to a tsunami, it is clear that presently there are no specified structures put in place for addressing such a disaster here.
Munster MEP Simon Coveney has appealed to the EU to consider the creation of an Atlantic coast guard which would be aimed at protecting the coast of Kerry and the 14,000 kms of coastline from Europe to N. Africa. Such a coastguard could aid rescue services at sea and also help address effects on the ecological environment, as well as providing an early warning system. (http://archives.tcm.ie/thekingdom/2005/01/27/story16007.asp)
Without such strategies and information made available, particularly to residents along the coast of the country, the effect of a tsunami on Ireland could be catastrophic.
There is need for a concerted effort to improve Irelands defence and potential response to a tsunami.
Guidelines such as to go to high ground following a warming, knowledge of first aid, where to go for food, shelter and clothing will be essential.
Early warning systems for a tsunami approaching Ireland are non-existent however, and although there are possible defensive strategies that could be put in place, such as a proposed dyke to go around Dublin bay. Although such proposals are largely theoretical, there is great need for action to be taken to protect our coastlines.
With the UK even supporting a hazard warning system, with Tony Blair backing proposals to set up an international expert panel aimed at reducing the damage and loss of human life attributable to such natural disasters, it is time for Ireland to take a serious step in preparation also.
If Ireland were to be struck by a tsunami, it is unlikely that many people have ensured their homes against natural disasters of such a kind. There would be a great loss of income and the livelihoods of many, as agricultural and commercial sectors along coast would be adversely effected.