Scottish Government column

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This year, the Scottish Government is encouraging everyone across Scotland to take an hour and prepare themselves for all kinds of severe weather via its 
national ‘Ready for 
Winter?’ communications campaign.

In previous years severe weather left some people vulnerable. So, the campaign highlights that we all need to take action and be prepared for severe weather, and that it really doesn’t take long to get ready.

Whether it’s in your community, at home, on the move or in the workplace we all need to consider the risk of severe weather.

Extreme weather can occur at any time of year, but is most likely during the winter months. It can cause a range of problems but everyone across the country can be ready by taking action themselves and getting prepared for severe weather.

The message is: getting ready for winter is something we ALL need to do – it doesn’t take long and it takes only a few simple steps.

While the Scottish Government and local authorities work to keep the country moving when severe weather strikes, there’s a lot people can and should be doing to prepare their family, their communities and businesses.

The Ready for Winter? campaign is designed to encourage each of us to think about how we could be affected and take some action that, together, will help Scotland be more prepared should we experience severe or prolonged winter weather this year.

The core objective of the Ready for Winter? campaign is to make everyone across Scotland aware of the importance of getting ready for winter: at home, in their communities, at work and on the road.

It encourages people to get ready for severe weather by pointing out that it doesn’t take long – an hour at most – and to take some simple steps to be ready personally and in their wider community – such as making a plan and taking some sensible preparations to help reduce the impact of an emergency on their lives.

It also seeks to inform and remind people about the risks associated with severe weather by providing them with the information and advice they need so they know what to do and are confident to take action which will ensure they are as prepared as possible.

It encourages them to consider the experiences of others who have already taken these first steps towards community resilience.

This year, we are asking 
everyone in Scotland to ‘take an hour’ to get ready for 
winter. This is our core message that is supplemented with additional messaging under core strands.

Research carried out in Scotland by the Scottish Government and British Red Cross on the public’s attitude to emergencies and preparedness in 2013 indicated the following:

There’s a five per cent 
increase in public preparedness for extreme weather on last year – 44 per cent in 2013 versus 39 per cent in 2012.

People are most concerned about extreme weather, power cuts and being cut off from their water supply.

Many car owners think they’re doing enough just by having an ice scraper and de-icer.

By ‘thinking ahead’ we can all help Scotland be better prepared.

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