Safe Communities Portugal’s President David Thomas has announced the launch of the association’s new website.
“The last site served us very well, and although innovative in design at the time, the increasing and diverse nature of our responsibilities has meant that a change was inevitable. The fact that currently Covid-19 occupies some 30% of pages on our site has exacerbated the challenges concerning navigation and ease of finding information quickly,” David explained.
But size and ease of access were not the only issues. Said David, one of the main responsibilities as an official Civil Protection Volunteer Organisation under Portuguese law is “risk awareness, prevention and self-protection, especially in terms of rural fires but other catastrophes as well”.
Safe Communities Portugal’s remit under the broad scope of public safety and security is diverse, including crime prevention, cybercrime, civil protection and Covid-19. These span around 10 or so government departments under three ministries.
“As a result, the website is larger than those of many government departments, so this adds to the challenge of ensuring ease of access and navigation. Also, there is a need to differentiate what is simple knowledge and creating awareness, as opposed to that which is operational such as during major incidents,” he said.
The new site has greatly increased its focus on safe tourism and travel, just in time for the return of tourism. This ranges from beach and sea safety to air and land travel, water sports and rip currents. David added that each year people are injured as a result of water accidents, so it is important that people are aware of the dangers.
The section on Covid-19 has taken on a new look with “re-designed pages which are easier to access and navigate with information that we encourage people to use regularly”. This ranges from the latest on vaccines, the various laws in place and other official government news updates.
David explained: “For our 44,000 Facebook followers, with the launch of the site, we have had to change several links on our Facebook page accordingly for those posts over the last week or so. If you do happen to click on a Facebook post to the old site which does not work, then simply go to the new site home page and access from here: www.safecommunitiesportugal.com”
“As you can imagine, undertaking this at a time when our resources are stretched dealing with day to day business resulting from Covid-19 has been a monumental task. We have tried to take as much care as we can, but if you find something not working, please email us at [email protected], subject ‘New Website’,” he added.