Disaster Prevention Office warns mountain residents will need warm clothes

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Colder than usual winter is expected this year

The Chief of Management Strategy Division, Chiang Mai Public Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office Thana Nuanplod warned that mountain villages will be in need of warm clothing this winter as colder than normal temperatures are expected to hit the North.

The Office is preparing for the effects of the weather as cooler temperatures are coming. The Thai Meteorological Department said that the winter season begins November 16 and will run through February 17. The average lowest temperature in upper part of Thailand will be around 19-20°C and average lowest temperature of the country will be 6-7°C in the Upper North and Northeastern regions. The coldest period will be in the last half of December to the middle of January, 2017.

The Office has prepared a budget and has informed districts and local administration organizations to establish managing centers at the district and local administration organization level. The Ministry of Finance said that funds can be disbursed in an emergency situation when temperatures fall below 8 degrees Celsius for three consecutive days. This will enable to the government to release funds to purchase warm clothing and other needed items. The budget is set a 240 baht per person and the province will not receive more than 1 million baht in the year.

A survey was done of the 25 districts and found that there are 171,631 at risk people, of those 142,261 are elderly people with fragile health, 5,117 children and 24,523 disabled people. None of these people have received any help for the past two years. Most live in the highlands in Fang, Om Koi and Mae Chaem.

The private sector is stepping in to help; Honda will donate 11,000 items; 5,000 blankets, 5,000 winter jackets, 3,000 winter jackets for children, and 3,000 pairs of socks for kids on 21 November 16 at Ruppaport School, Bo Kaeo, Samoeng District. Rakbankerd Foundation will give 1,800 blankets and sports equipment in the area in Meuang Kong, Chiang Dao on December 17, 2016.