Removal of damages
Firemen from the State Fire Service and the Voluntary Fire Service continue to remove the effects of the storms. They first of all remove the broken and fallen trees. They are supported by the Police who direct traffic and organise diversions.
From 10 August, almost 90,000 firemen from the State Fire Service and the Voluntary Fire Service carried out 24,000 interventions. Students of fire service schools, i.e. the Main School of Fire Service in Warsaw and the Non-Commissioned Officers School in Bydgoszcz, also participate in the efforts.
Almost 400 soldiers and military firemen provide help in the regions affected by the storms; and over 190 equipment units are used on site. In the Pomorskie Voivodeship, there are currently 292 soldiers from the units in Chojnice and Szubin (sappers, sawyers and drivers) and 139 items of equipment, including saws, integrated dozers-loaders, off-road cars and trucks and specialist engineering equipment. In the Kujawsko-Pomorskie Voivodeship, there are 57 soldiers and 48 units of military equipment, providing help where it is necessary. Three Military Fire Service brigades are helping residents of the Dziemiany gmina. Additionally, 34 soldiers of the Military Gendarmerie and 19 vehicles are ready to be deployed. Further additional assistance will be launched on 21 August, after the examination of inquiries of 25 gminas. Moreover, the Military Property Agency will provide those in need with equipment and clothes.
Financial support and faster compensation payments
Persons injured due to the storm will receive in total over PLN 42 million of non-reimbursable financial support. This amount has been allocated for payment of benefits for 7,300 affected families at the request of the Minister of the Interior and Administration.
Moreover, in order to streamline compensation payments, PZU has launched a special faster payment procedure. So far, almost 26 thousand of damages have been notified. The insurer has sent four mobile offices of PZU Pomoc to places affected by storms. More than 1000 employees are involved in handling the damages, out of whom 100 work on site. PZU is also cooperating with 500 external appraisers. The insurer has already started to pay compensations. In addition to its ordinary insurer’s tasks, PZU has also sent trucks with tarp sheets, power saws, stand-by generators, water, cleaning products and food to Pomerania.
Help for children and seniors
At the initiative of the Ministry of National Education, PLN 5 million will be allocated to provide additional support for children and pupils from the affected families. In addition to benefits, this amount will also cover trips and therapeutic and educational activities. The participants of the camp in Suszek and their families have received psychological and pedagogical help in the headquarters of the crisis management team in Łódź. Additional psychological and pedagogical assistance for children and tutors affected by storms has been organised by the Chief Education Officer in Gdańsk.
The Ministry of National Defence has invited 50 children from the village of Rytel for a week-long holiday at the Military Holiday Centre in Zakopane. The Ministry is also organising a holiday trip at the Military Holiday Centre in Jurata for 30 seniors for the regions affected by storms.
The Ministry of Infrastructure and Construction, along with the Ministry of the Interior and Administration, has prepared an ordinance that will facilitate procedures related to estimation of damages and reconstruction and renovation of buildings. The amount that can be granted for reconstruction of destroyed houses has been increased from PLN 100 thousand to PLN 200 thousand, and the amount allocated to reconstruction of farm buildings has been fixed at the maximum value of PLN 100 thousand.
Gradual power recovery
The work on power supply restoration is currently under way. On 17 August, Enea Operator restored power supply in the village of Rytel (the Pomorskie Voivodeship), which had suffered the most due to intensive storms. Cooperation of power supply services involved in assistance has proven to be successful. All energy companies have coordinated their actions and rapidly eliminated most of the damages during the first two days after the storm. At the peak crisis moment, 463,000 households had no power. Currently, ca. 10,000 households are lacking energy.
Unblocking roads and railway lines
Due to violent storms that affected Poland on the night of 11 to 12 August, many roads were impassable and traction wires were damaged. All national roads are currently passable.
Felled trees have caused difficulties in railway traffic in Lower Silesia, Opole region, Pomerania and Kujawy. Necessary actions have been immediately implemented in order to maintain communication, secure and restore the damaged traction wires, clean up felled trees, check all equipment, restore railway traffic and coordinate the establishment of alternative communication.
Alternative communication has been introduced in these places where it appeared to be necessary, and passengers at the railway stations and platforms have received information on communication changes. Information has been also delivered through the PKP helpline. Traffic on all railway lines has been restored.
Securing forest areas
On 14 August, the General Directorate of the State Forests convened a crisis meeting with all regional directors of the State Forests. They decided to introduce the
state of force majeure of supralocal scale. Throughout Poland, crisis management teams have been established in Forest Districts suffering from major damages, in order to organise and coordinate activities aiming at preventing forest areas from being damaged on purpose, cleaning up felled trees from forest roads, careful stocktaking of damages and preparing actions that will allow to quickly use the wood from windthrow and start restoration of damaged stands.
Checking technical condition of buildings
The General Inspector of Building Control cooperates with local building control authorities to determine the technical condition of buildings damaged by the storms. The control teams have already checked 2137 buildings, including 1036 residential ones. The control resulted in shutting 250 buildings posing a threat to safety. Across the country, strong winds damaged or blew off the roofs from 4392 buildings, of which 3196 are residential buildings.
Currently 75 two-person teams are engaged in control works, including 58 from the affected voivodeships, 7 from the supporting voivodeship and 5 from the General Inspectorate of Building Control. Additionally, over 40 control teams from the supporting voivodeships are ready to work on site. These teams are deployed accordingly to the needs. Yesterday, 4 additional control teams (two from the Łódzkie Voivodeship and two from the Zachodniopomorskie Voivodeship) were sent to help services from the affected voivodeships.
Social assistance support
Family assistants are providing psychological and legal help on an ongoing basis. This month, the affected voivodeships will receive 500 tonnes of food and PLN 60 million for public works. The Voluntary Labour Corps have involved in providing help, offering free-of-charge construction equipment and operators, as well as accommodation and food for 500 people. Moreover, the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy has called gminas to launch mobile 500+ application centres.
Water supply and epidemic prevention
The sanitary and epidemiology situation in the areas affected by storms is being constantly monitored by the services of the State Sanitary Inspection, in particular in the domain of the health security of food and drinking water.
In locations where public water intakes do not work, they are restored through stand-by generators, or water is supplied by cisterns, while residents are being informed that it is forbidden to drink tap water.
The Chief Education Officers are performing control of camps throughout the country. All camps in the Pomorskie Voivodeship have been already controlled. No irregularities and shortcomings in the security organisation have been detected.
Estimation of damages in livestock
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is constantly collecting information on damages in agriculture from the Voivodeship Crisis Management Centres. In cooperation with voivodeship and poviat veterinarians, the Chief Veterinarian is constantly monitoring damages in livestock and food security in meat and milk production establishments.