DDPM handing out blankets to risk groups as mercury falls

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BANGKOK, 30 October 2014 – The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) is conducting a campaign to assist people in provinces susceptible to extreme cold weather by supplying them with blankets.

Deputy Director-General of the DDPM Anusorn Kaewkangwan stated that the provincial administrative officials already have records of residents in their respective areas who are considered most vulnerable to cold weather. The records will enable authorities to quickly deliver aid to these groups of people, which include children, the elderly, the disabled and the poor, in times of winter disasters.

In preparation for the peak winter period this year, Mr Anusorn revealed that the DDPM is cooperating with the private sector to release caravans to various areas faced with low temperatures throughout the country, beginning today, in a bid to distribute blankets to those in need.

The Deputy Director-General said early assistance is necessary at the moment, given the situation has not reached the point where disaster emergency can be declared and assistance budgets can be allocated.

According to the Finance Ministry’s regulations, a province can be declared a winter disaster area if the temperature has dropped to below 15 degrees Celsius for three consecutive days. It is only then that a budget of 1 million baht per province can be disbursed from the government’s emergency reserves to help the locals.