People across the country are being advised to plan ahead and get ready for winter after new research shows that only two fifths of Scots are prepared for all kinds of severe weather.
The new research conducted jointly by the British Red Cross and the Scottish Government, and published in October, highlights that Scots were most concerned about power cuts, being cut off from water supply or disruption to fuel supplies.
It also revealed that over three quarters of car owners think they are doing enough to prepare with just an ice-scraper and de-icer when it’s equally as important to make sure you keep warm, fed and watered should severe weather affect you on the move.
By doing a few small things now we can save a lot of trouble later.
Launching the Ready for Winter? campaign this week, Minister for Transport Keith Brown said: “Being prepared for winter and all kinds of severe weather is something we all need to take responsibility for.
“One of the key drivers behind this year’s campaign is to encourage everyone in Scotland to start thinking about how severe weather could impact them, at home, before setting out on journeys, in their communities, and at their place of work.
“We all know that Scotland’s weather can change quickly and this year we’ve already seen some people badly affected as floods and high-winds struck.
“The research published today shows that there is still work to be done in getting the message out to families, businesses and communities across Scotland about the need to get ready for all kinds of severe weather.
“By thinking ahead, we can all help Scotland be better prepared, building safer and stronger communities where we can deal with the consequences of severe weather. Our preparedness campaign shows the simple steps we can all take to achieve this.
“I am delighted that again we are working closely with the British Red Cross to deliver the campaign.
“We are also working in partnership with Scottish local authorities and a wide range of other partners across the public, voluntary and private sectors.”
With the seasons changing, the ‘Ready for Winter?’ campaign encourages everyone across Scotland to be ready for all kinds of severe weather that can affect our day to day life - like high winds, flooding, snow and ice.
So, how prepared are you? Have you started making a household plan or packing an emergency kit? Taking action now will help make Scotland better prepared.
David Miller, Red Cross operations director, said: “Severe weather can take many forms – not just snow and ice – and it is important that we are all prepared for it at home, on the road and in the community.
“Last winter was the mildest in years, yet many people in Scotland still suffered hardship and inconvenience due to high winds and flooding which resulted in temporary loss of utilities and caused great damage.
“We cannot legislate for the weather but we can make life easier for ourselves if we take a few simple steps to prepare for it.”
To help us identify risks and how we can prepare ourselves for adverse weather or other emergency situations, the Ready Scotland website (www.readyscotland.org) has an example list of essential items that 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.
If you’re not online, or if you’d like some more information, you can find out all you need to know at the dedicated Ready for Winter? roadshow, which will be visiting 64 locations around Scotlan, including Rothesay on Monday, November 19.
Offering practical advice, tips and helpful giveaways, the roadshow demonstrates simple steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, your community and your business from all kinds of severe weather.
Instead of worrying about what the weather might bring, why not find out what you can do now to help be better prepared.
It’s easy, doesn’t take long and isn’t expensive, but some smart thinking and advance planning could make all the difference this winter.
Help us spread the word and make Scotland better prepared - for more helpful tips and information on getting ready for winter, visit www.readyscotland.org