Safe Communities Portugal and Amigos do Museu do Traje in Sāo Brás de Alportel have joined forces in holding a “Safe Christmas and Festive Period Seminar”. This will take place at Museu do Traje in Sāo Brás de Alportel on Friday 17th November from 1700 hrs to 1900 hrs, and everyone is welcome to attend.

The aim of the gathering is to learn more about the operations of the Guarda Nacional Republicana (GNR) and the Autoridade Nacional de Segurança Rodoviária (ANSR) (National Road Safety Authority) over the Christmas and New Year festive period, in terms of their priorities and tips we can learn from them in order to have a safe festive period. Information will also be provided by Camara do Municipal de Sāo Brás de Alportel.

The focus will be on: Security of property over Christmas period especially if property will be empty, safe driving, Police enforcement and processes, reporting suspicious activities and crime, on-line scams especially shopping scams and safety tips.

Apart from the presenters we are honoured that Coronel Carlos Almeida Comandante do Comando Territorial de Faro da GNR, as well as Senhor Presidente da ANSR, Professor Doutor Rui Ribeiro will be present, so this will be a good opportunity to meet them personally.

There will be plenty of time for engagement with the presenters, as one of the aims is to discuss and answer your questions, on topics of interest to you. As we know during this period, people maybe away on holiday leaving their property unoccupied, pre-Christmas shopping on-line with the potential for scams, as well as a seasonable increase in road accidents and issues such as drink driving.

The location is: R. Dr. José Dias Sancho 61, 8150-141 São Brás de Alportel and there is adequate parking nearby.

To ensure there is adequate seating for all, please confirm that you will be attending contacting no later than 14th November. We look forward to meeting you.



Reducing the risks with high wind gusts today


With IPMA and other forecasters predicting maximum wind gusts of 75 km/h to 100 km/h, together with very high coastal waves (with red warnings in some places), we offer the following reminders to reduce the risk of damage and becoming a casualty:

SEA FRONTS – Stay away from sea fronts to avoid being swept away, or hit by debris carried by the coastal winds. Avoid cliff edges.

ON THE ROADS: Take care if driving high sided vehicles and overtaking such vehicles especially in cross wind situations – bridges can be affected by crossed winds.  25 de Abril Bridge Lisbon has speed limitations in place due to wind

Take particular care in towing caravans – maybe better to wait until winds subside

Leave extra space when overtaking vehicles, especially cyclists.

Keep a safe distance from cars in adjacent lanes as strong gusts could push a car outside its lane of travel.

CYCLISTS – Avoid areas which have a high exposure to strong wind gusts.

TREES – Avoid parking your vehicle if possible under trees which appear in poor condition. Soil may have been saturated by recent rains

AROUND THE HOUSE – Move or secure terrace furniture and outdoor items that could be damaged by the winds

PEDESTRIANS – Be particular alert for items that may have become dislodged in the winds and flying debris

SELFIES: Do not place yourself at risk taking selfies of weather conditions – many people have been injured or worse in these situations

Maps: IPMA Sustained wind speed for today – the highest we have seen this year





The 1755 Lisbon earthquake impacted Portugal, the Iberian Peninsula, and Northwest Africa on the morning 1 November, Feast of All Saints, at around 09:40 local time.

Till this day the location of the epicentre is still in a scientific debate with several theories around. The historical is in the Atlantic Ocean about 200 km (120 mi) west-southwest of Cape St. Vincent and about 290 km (180 mi) southwest of Lisbon. The same applies to the magnitude, being also the historical magnitude estimated at 8.5 to 9 Richter scale.

Several buildings that had suffered little earthquake damage were destroyed by the subsequent fire and/or tsunami. The new Lisbon opera house (the “Ópera do Tejo”), opened just six months before, and was burned to the ground.

The Royal Ribeira Palace, which stood just beside the Tagus River in the modern square of Terreiro do Paço, was destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami. Inside, the 70,000-volume royal library as well as hundreds of works of art, including paintings by Titian, Rubens, and Correggio, were lost.

The royal archives disappeared together with detailed historical records of explorations by Vasco da Gama and other early navigators.

The royal family escaped unharmed from the catastrophe: King Jose I and the court had left the city, after attending mass at sunrise, fulfilling the wish of one of the king’s daughters to spend the holiday away from Lisbon, they were in Belem area.

Many survivors rushed to the open space of the docks for safety and watched as the sea receded, approximately 40 minutes after the earthquake, a tsunami engulfed the harbour and downtown area.

Lisbon was not the only Portuguese city affected by the catastrophe.

Throughout the south of the country, in particular the Algarve, destruction was rampant. The tsunami destroyed some coastal fortresses in the Algarve and, at lower levels, it razed several houses. Almost all the coastal towns and villages of the Algarve were heavily damaged.


Letter reveals that “it hit whilst she was doing the washing up”!

A rare letter has been found, written by a British nun Sister Witham, dated 27 January 1756, describing how she was present in Lisbon on 1st November 1755.

She described – “I looked about me and saw the walls a-shaking, and a-falling down then I got up and took to my heels, with Jesus in my mouth, and to the quire I run, thinking to be safe there, but there was no entrance but all falling round us, and the lime and dust so thick there was no seeing…. We spent the day in prayers but with a great deal of fear and apprehension as we had shakings and trembles all that day and night”.

Here is more about the parchment (with copies of it), found by a researcher from the University of Exeter during cataloguing of the records of Syon Abbey. Writing to her aunt, Sister Witham told of how she survived the ordeal which killed around 60,000 people, starting with how she was washing dishes when the tremors began.



Life When Water ceases to flow


A few months ago the electricity in our area of the central Algarve failed for around six hours. One of the consequences was that water ceased to flow through the taps!🚰


But what if this was not temporary and the drought situation meant that we had to limit our use of water in the longer term?

With the severe level of drought in parts of the Portugal especially in the south it is important to conserve water. These are some tips to do just this:

Turn off the tap while you are not using the water.

🪥During your hygiene, while brushing your teeth, washing your hands, hair or body. In the shower while soaping or shampooing, the tap can be turned off.

In the kitchen.

🪣 If you have to wash the dishes by hand, do it without running water, use the dishwashing sink and/or a double bowl if you have one

🍇Avoid washing vegetables under running water, do it in a container and use this water for other uses (watering plants, toilet, etc.)

These are some of the moments when you can turn off the faucet and save a lot of water that applied daily, at the end of the month can mean a very significant saving.

Steam cooking. In addition to being healthy, steamed vegetables or some fish are very easy to make. So, with the same water (and energy) you can cook two things.

🚿Save the shower water

There are few people who use this trick, but it is one of the most effective for saving water. While you wait for it to heat up, store those litres of water that would otherwise be wasted. You can then reuse it for the toilet, to water the houseplants, or even to wash the floor.

🚽Take care of your toilet

With flush toilets we can also save enough water to significantly reduce consumption.

🚽With flush toilets we can also save enough water to significantly reduce consumption.

🚽First, checking if it has any water leaks. To do this, put dye inside the toilet. If you see coloured water in the toilet without flushing it, then it is a sign that there are leaks to be treated.

The next step is to reduce the volume of water that is released with each flush. If you don’t have a double flush toilet or simply putting a full plastic bottle into the toilet flush tank.


Do not throw away your pet’s drinking water when you give it fresh water. Reuse it to water the plants.

These are just a few there are many other measures we can all take including governments, local government, businesses – everyone!

#drought #watershortage






Hawaii officials were warned years ago that Maui’s Lahaina faced High Wildfire Risk


Wall Street Journal 12th August 2023

Nearly a decade before a wildfire destroyed the coastal Maui town of Lahaina this week, killing at least 89 people, a report by Hawaiian fire researchers warned that the area was at extremely high risk of burning.

Another report, in 2020, tied fires to winds from a passing hurricane—similar to the ones that fanned the Lahaina blaze.

And the state’s electric utility had for years worried about wildfire risk in the area. It even flew drones to monitor conditions.

Yet local authorities said in the aftermath of this week’s devastation that though they knew wildfires were becoming more frequent in Hawaii, they weren’t prepared for one to roar through Lahaina.

The fire hit the coastal town so quickly and caught officials so off-guard that emergency sirens didn’t sound. Many panicked residents were unable to flee on the town’s one clogged highway and took boats or swam to safety, if they were able to escape at all.

In 2014, a wildfire-protection plan for the area was written by the Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization, a non-profit that works with government agencies. It warned that Lahaina was among Maui’s most fire-prone areas because of its proximity to parched grasslands, steep terrain and frequent winds.

The plan, which involved Maui and state officials, laid out a multitude of mitigation measures that needed to be undertaken to shield the area around Lahaina from fires. They included thinning vegetation near populated areas, improving wildfire-response capabilities and working with landowners and utilities to help reduce fire risk on their property.

Some of the recommendations from the 2014 plan, which was devised after more than a half-dozen community meetings, were implemented, like brush thinning efforts and public education for landowners, said the report’s lead author, Elizabeth Pickett. But others, such as ramping up emergency-response capacity, have been stymied by a lack of funding, logistical hurdles in rugged terrain and competing priorities, said Pickett, co-executive director of the wildfire non-profit.

“We’ve been hammering this home, and it’s just really frustrating and heart breaking to see that some things could have been done, but we couldn’t find money,” she said. “We are living through what happens when there’s a lag and everyone’s still catching up.”

Representatives for the Hawaii State and Maui county governments didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Asked at a press conference Thursday why the state wasn’t more prepared, Hawaii Gov. Josh Green said, “We’ve never experienced a wildfire that affected a city like this before.

He said officials were particularly surprised that Hurricane Dora, which passed by Hawaii this week, caused winds as strong as 60 miles an hour (100 km/h) , driving the blaze into Lahaina faster than emergency responders and residents could keep up.

“This was, of course, a shock to see a hurricane and its winds and trade winds cause collateral damage, which was the spread of fire,” he said.

But that risk was known too.

The fire danger from passing hurricanes in Hawaii was documented in a 2020 report by researchers at the University of Hawaii and the East-West Center, which tied a 2018 outbreak of fires on both Maui and Oahu to winds from Hurricane Lane.

Like Hurricane Dora, Hurricane Lane passed the islands to the south, but sparked four fires—three on West Maui and one on Oahu—which blackened about 3,000 acres.

Over the past decade, an average of 20,000 acres have burned annually in Hawaii, more than quadruple the pace from a century ago, according to the Pacific Fire Exchange, a wildfire research group.

One of the main causes has been the proliferation of non-native grass and shrubs, the group said.

The researchers in the 2020 hurricane report said the fires tied to Lane ignited in areas dominated by non-native grasses, which are exceptionally flammable and have proliferated in recent years, now covering one-quarter of the state.

Non-native grasses blanketed the sloped terrain around Lahaina.

Utility Lines

Jennifer Potter, a former state public utility commissioner who lives on Maui, said she began hearing growing concern from community members about fire activity on the island beginning in 2019. That same year, Hawaiian Electric, the state’s main utility, said it would fly drones over areas including West Maui to identify utility lines prone to wildfires.

Documents show Hawaiian Electric submitted a request for funding in 2022 from the public utilities commission to help offset the $189.7 million it said it needed to bolster its power grid across the state, including wildfire-prevention measures. The request is still being processed.

A spokesman for the utility didn’t respond to requests for comment.

“There was absolutely knowledge within the state and within the electric industry that fire was a huge, huge concern on the island of Maui, and even more so than any of the other islands,” Potter said. “I don’t think it’s fair to say we’ve never seen this coming.”

Residents of Lahaina said they didn’t see the fire coming just hours before it reached their town Tuesday.

Around 9 a.m. local time that day, Maui officials said the wildfire outside Lahaina had been 100% contained. By midafternoon, however, it had grown out of control, driven by winds as strong as 60 miles an hour.

The Wildfire


“The fire that day moved so quickly, that from where it started in the brush to where it moved into the neighbourhood, communications back to those who make [emergency] notifications were physically nearly impossible,” he said.

Some Lahaina residents said they received emergency alerts, but many didn’t. The fire disabled cellular service in the city, as well as power and water.

Hawaii has what it says is one of the world’s largest siren systems to warn people of all kinds of events, including wildfires and hurricanes. Maui County has 80. State records don’t indicate that the sirens sounded in Lahaina, according to the Associated Press.

“Normally there’d be, like, a hurricane siren or something. None of that stuff went off,” said Kevin Campbell, who escaped Lahaina with his pregnant wife, Tasha.

When he tried to persuade friends to leave, he said, some argued that it was pointless for them to go. The single-lane Honoapi’ilani Highway, the main road out of town, was jammed with cars. Portions of it were closed because of downed power lines from the earlier windstorms.

Some residents and tourists abandoned their gridlocked cars on foot, while others rammed vehicles through gates, fled by boat, or waited out the fire in the ocean, witnesses said.

“It was so damn fast, by the time I realized, it was like a rainstorm of red sparks going sideways,” said Jo Ann Hayashi, who spent hours wading in the water of Lahaina Harbor to escape the flames.

Ginger Adams Otis, Suryatapa Bhattacharya and Christine Mai-Duc contributed to this article.













World Youth Day – Safety and Security


David Thomas President Safe Communities Portugal was interviewed by Owen Gee on CrimeCheck feature on Solid Gold Sunday, yesterday 30th July, on safety and security during World Youth day 1st to 6th August 2023. David outlined that:

The events are expected to attract over one million to 1.5 million people from all over the world in Lisbon alone. Some areas where major events will be extremely crowded.

It is an unprecedented major security operation for police and health authorities, with a numbers of measure to help people have a safe and enjoyable time.

The main events will take place at Parque Eduardo 7th and “Campo da Graça” (Tejo Park). All information available from JMJ website.

10,000 PSP deployed, 300 civil protection

Various police operations in place:  Anti pick pocket operation, surveillance operations on the beaches of the Cascais line. Border security with Spain has been stepped up

Heat and health

High temperatures -Importance therefore of keeping hydrated use sunscreen​

There will be health stations at major events for those requiring assistance.

The assistance provided by the National Health Service 24 (SNS24) and the National Institute of Medical Emergencies (INEM) will be available in 69 languages during World Youth Day (WYD).

Drones Prohibited

Due to the visit of Pope Francis to the Shrine of Fatima, 5th August the use of unmanned aircraft (Drones) in the Cova da Iria airspace will be prohibited from July 29 to August 6, 2023.

Events what is prohibited

Ttems that cannot be taken into the JMJ main event venues: drones, fireworks, pyrotechnics, laser pointers, knives, glass objects like bottles


IPMA will support WYD 2023 participants through the launch of a microsite with meteorological information fin English and Portuguese from 31st July for quick information available will be for 3 locations in the city of Lisbon.


World Youth Day will cause constraints to traffic, including absolute restrictions from Parque Eduardo VII to downtown Lisbon on the 1st, 3rd and 4th of August, and constraints in the Parque das Nações area and on the Passeio Marítimo de Algés in the August 5th and 6th. There will be certain stations on the yellow and blue metro lines where stations are closed.

Advice is to use public transport and avoid use of cars.


All waste produced must be deposited in containers for recycling and, if it is not recyclable, place it in the undifferentiated container; Do not discard waste

Crime prevention
· General advice given concerning looking after valuables, use your group chat to check in with each other  -Share your location with friends and family on your phone ; keep details of your accommodation.

More info:

In Portuguese and English   + App

Safe Communities Portugal FB page

Brits in Portugal has FB page with useful info









Safe Communities Presentation at the 7th National Meeting of Resilent Cities and Towns

This meeting held on 12th and 13th January in Odemira, is an annual meeting that brings together technicians and officials of public entities that manage the territories in the field of security and civil protection and climate change adaptation, as well as researchers from the academic environment. Those attending on this occasion were from as far away as Porto, Vila Real, Castro Marim and Funchal, Madeira.

The opening session was attended by the Secretary of State for Civil Protection, Patricia Gaspar, and the President of the Municipal Council of Odemira, Hélder Guerreiro. Also attended by the National Director of Risk Prevention and Management, Carlos Mendes, and the Regional Commander Civil Protection of the Alentejo, Jose Guilherme.

Topics such as Resilient Cities, the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, current and future impacts of Climate Change, the new paradigm of the fire risk management model in case of fires extremes, the challenge of accumulation of services between the Municipal Civil Protection Service and the Municipal Police, the implementation and dynamics of the Integrated Operations Centre, the implementation of the Local Platform for Reduction of Disaster Risk, Tsunami Warning Systems, Management of inclusiveness in the context of emergencies, planning and preparation of Population Support Concentration Areas or Local Civil Protection Units / Neighbourhoods.

David Thomas President of SCP presented the role of Safe Communities Portugal concerning matters of Civil Protection in Portugal, featuring its work in helping to create risk awareness and preparedness and the tracking of major incidents. He also covered the approach dealing with vulnerable communities and the main features of its website and growth and coverage of the SCP Facebook page, as well as the latest Northern and Centre Situation alerts page. The presentation was well received by the audience numbering around 120.

Odemira Municipality was recognized by the UN as a “Resilient City” in December 2021, joining the more than 40 municipalities from Portugal that are part of this network.

The Resilient Cities and Villages Network is geared towards local disaster risk reduction and city resilience, through a campaign launched by the United Nations in 2010.

Presentation here: 7º Encontro de Cidades e Vilas Resilientes – 2023 Presentation Odemira Safe Communities Portugal




Solid Gold Sunday – Crime Check – On KissFm Sunday 27th November 2022


Tomorrow Solid Gold Sunday hosted by Owen Gee, will feature “Crime Check” with David Thomas, President of Safe Communities Portugal.

Crime Check will start between 09.10 hrs and 09.20 hrs and David will be sharing information and advice about:

  • IPMA weather warning system and importance of following the warnings and
  • On-line scams we can expect to see more of in lead up to Christmas.

Kiss FM can be heard on 95.8 and 101.2 FM or through the home page of

Looking forward to the show – please listen in.




Safe Communities Portugal 10th Anniversary Lunch


1300 hrs Wednesday 30th November 2022

Restaurant Quinta Do Moinho – Rua da Nossa Sra. da Piedade, Lote 10, 8100-338 Loulé.

Deadline for booking 2359 hrs 25th November 2022

We are posting this reminder as the response to this event has been really excellent and with just a week to go we ask people not to delay booking in order to avoid disappointment, as there is limited space available.

As we are entering the winter period, Safe Communities Portugal is looking at many opportunities for face to face gatherings so you can learn more about our work, how we help communities as well as for fundraising, in order for our Volunteer Organisation to be able to carry out its many activities, develop more and to get to meet as many people as we can over the next few months.

Obviously our followers are spread across Portugal and beyond so we have to start in one place and if successful we will be spreading our wings in the form of similar gatherings to other parts of the country.

We are also taking the opportunity to celebrate10 years since we registered as a non-profit organisation in November 2012.

Our Community and Fund Raising Lunch with Safe Communities Portugal will be held in Loule. The meal will consist of the following courses:

Couvert: Bread, Olives, Butter and Sardine Pate.

Tapas: Various Cured meats, Cheese, Algarve Carrots, Octopus Salad,

Main Course: Grilled mixed meats served with Chips and Salad or Vegetarian option available.

Desert: Various sweets from the cabinet followed by Coffee.

In addition there is a bottle of house wine per 2 persons or a jug of Sangria or Beer, water or juices depending on your preference, included in the price.

The cost per person will be 30 Euros of which a percentage of this cost will be a donation to Safe Communities Portugal.

David Thomas Founder and President SCP will speak on the many different types of work and projects we are involved in and how as a volunteer organisation we help many people across Portugal.

We are also delighted to say that we will also have a guest speaker on the day. Mr Clive Jewell is the Vice Consul at the Consular Office in Portimão and will give us an insight into his role here in the Algarve on behalf of the UK Government.

To book you place email:

Stating your Full Name and the names of any one attending with you. Your Telephone Number and Your Email Address

We will collect the cost of Lunch at the door on the day so please bring cash only.





Lisbon, Nov 02, 2022 (Lusa) – The Minister of Internal Administration announced today a reinforcement of the security of the National Internal Security Network, with an investment of 17.4 million euros in cybersecurity planned for 2023.

During the parliamentary examination in the specialty of the proposal for the State Budget for 2023 (OE2023), José Luís Carneiro said that next year “the planned investment in information and communication technologies will continue to be made”, preparing the Ministry of Internal Administration (MAI). ) for “a secure digital transition”.

The official stressed that this investment aims to “strengthen the security of the National Internal Security Network, strengthening cybersecurity means” by 17.4 million euros.

The minister also noted that the sharing of resources and solutions between security forces and services, through the gradual integration of technical support and logistical support structures, “eliminating redundancies and freeing up human resources for the operational area” in the amount of 3.1 million euros.

José Luís Carneiro also advanced that in 2023, 11.5 million euros will be invested in the new generation of 112 operational centers, which will allow the geolocation of calls, a new application for the deaf and interoperability with European operational centers.

According to the minister, the Schengen information systems will be updated by eight million euros and the European travel information and authorization system by five million euros.

José Luís Carneiro also referred that 36.5 million euros will be invested in the emergency communications network of the State SIRESP, to which, over five years, another 75 million will be invested in the scope of the international public tender and a further 38.5 million euros in other investments.


The news of the investment of 11.5 million euros to enable the geolocation of emergency calls is welcome and should enable the location of those seeking assistance to be pinpointed, enabling a faster and more efficient response.