People across Scotland are being urged to prepare for winter so they can help deal with whatever the weather throws at us this year.
As the weather starts to get colder, the Scottish Government’s Ready for Winter? campaign is encouraging people to get prepared now rather than waiting until extreme weather affects them.
Recent winters have confirmed what we all know, that Scottish weather is highly unpredictable, and preparing well is crucial to dealing with whatever weather or events may occur.
The campaign, run in partnership with the British Red Cross, sets out the simple steps we can all take in the home, before a journey (whether driving, cycling or on foot), at work and in our communities. Research commissioned by the Scottish Government and the British Red Cross found that 40 per cent of people in Scotland are concerned about extreme weather emergencies, and only 41 per cent believe they are prepared for them.
Minister for Transport and Veterans, Keith Brown, said: “If there is anything recent winters have shown us it is that Scottish weather is unpredictable. In the last five years, parts of Scotland have been badly affected by severe weather ranging from snow and freezing temperatures to high winds and blizzards, and we also saw the impact of flooding in south-west England last winter.
“The unpredictability of weather patterns means we cannot simply hope that we will miss the worst of it. And while we can’t stop the weather causing disruption, we can be well prepared to deal with it.”
David Miller, director of the British Red Cross in Scotland, said: “Making sure you are prepared now for winter can make a huge difference when extreme weather hits.
“At the Red Cross we know that severe weather, including snow and floods, can have serious consequences. However, with a few simple steps you can make yourself and others ready for the disruption it can bring.”
Here are some practical tips to get you started:
l Identify family or neighbours in your community who may need a helping hand if severe weather strikes - have their phone numbers to hand and offer to help them prepare
l Make a household plan and collect together items that will be important to you and your family in an emergency
l Pack a few essential items in your car such as an ice scraper and de-icer, a torch and spare batteries, a shovel for snow, warm clothes, boots and a blanket; and some food and a warm drink in a flask
l If you live in an area at risk of flooding, register with Floodline on 0345 988 1188 for their free alert service
To help us prepare for adverse weather or other emergency situations, the Ready Scotland website (www.readyscotland.org) lists the essential items to make an ‘emergency kit’ for the home and for the car. There’s also information about how to help your community, especially keeping in touch with vulnerable neighbours, family or friends.
l You can also download the ReadyScotland app that allows you to store important information and access practical advice via your smart phone.