Campaign urges us to prepare for severe weather

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Berwickshire residents 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. It also encourages people to look out for and help vulnerable people in their community, as well as reminding businesses of the need to be prepared, and reminding people to be safe when going out during winter.

Research commissioned by the Scottish Government and the British Red Cross found that 40% of people in Scotland are concerned about extreme weather emergencies, and only 41% 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. Our winter preparedness campaign reminds us of this and the simple actions we can all take to get ready: in the home, before a journey, at our place of work and in our communities. This will serve us well not just throughout the winter months, but all year round and in a range of emergency situations.

“I’m delighted the campaign is again being run in partnership with the British Red Cross and will be supported by a variety of other partners across the public, private and voluntary sectors in Scotland.”

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.

“You can prepare an emergency kit for your home and car, jot down your emergency phone numbers and check on any neighbours, family or friends to see if they need any help. You can also make sure you know what the plan at your workplace is.

“Each year the Red Cross helps people across Scotland cope with the effects of severe weather and this winter, as always, we’ll be prepared and ready.”

Here are some practical tips to get you started:

If you live in an area at risk of flooding, register with Floodline on 0345 988 1188 for their free alert service

To help prepare for emergency situations, the Ready Scotland website (HYPERLINK “http://www.readyscotland.org” www.readyscotland.org) lists essential items to make an emergency kit for the home and car.