Be prepared for severe weather

Published on Monday, 22 October 2012 12:40
Written by Vicki Mitchem

A major public awareness campaign is being launched today encouraging everyone across the country to think ahead and get ready for all forms of severe weather – and not just in winter – that we can face in Scotland.

While around 40 per-cent of people in Scotland say they feel prepared for severe weather according to new research published today, people are being asked to look at all aspects of their preparedness through this year's 'Ready for Winter?' campaign.

Findings from the survey, carried out jointly by the British Red Cross and the Scottish Government, showed that:

  • 39 per cent of people said that they were prepared for periods of severe weather
  • People are most concerned about power cuts, being cut off from water supply or disruption to fuel supplies (41 per cent)
  • The vast majority of car owners (76 per cent) think they are doing enough to prepare for poor driving conditions with just an ice-scraper and de-icer

In the last three years parts of Scotland have been badly affected by severe weather – from the damaging storms of early 2012 to the snow and freezing temperatures of the previous two winters which were among the worst in decades.

Launching the campaign, Minister for Transport and Veterans Keith Brown said:

"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.

"Our weather can change quickly and this year we have already seen some people affected by floods and high-winds. We need to keep getting the message out to families, businesses and communities across Scotland about the need to get ready for all kinds 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."

David Miller, Red Cross operations director for East Scotland, added:

"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.

"The Red Cross is delighted to be working in partnership with the Scottish Government once again to deliver this very important message. Our 'Ready For Winter?' campaign was very successful last year and this time we are urging the people of Scotland to be ready for all types of severe weather, which can strike at any time of the year - not just during winter."

COSLA Spokesperson for Health and Well-being, Cllr Peter Johnston said:

"COSLA are delighted to once again be working in partnership with the Scottish Government and British Red Cross to launch the 'Ready for Winter?' campaign.  COSLA would urge people to be aware of the simple measures to reduce the risk of being underprepared should severe weather affect Scotland.

"We have seen the consequences of unpredictable weather in Scotland in the past few years and whilst we might not experience sustained winter conditions of snow, we could get high winds, flooding or snow over a short period of time which could have an equally severe impact.

"COSLA support the message of the campaign for people to be generally prepared for all types of severe weather.  I am aware councils have appropriate contingency plans in place to minimise the impact on public services should Scotland experience any form of severe weather this winter.  We endeavour to deliver as many services as possible during periods of severe weather with limited disruption but we ask people to recognise that in some circumstances we might need to prioritise the vulnerable."

The Scottish Government's 'Ready for Winter?' campaign, its second in partnership with the British Red Cross, provides information and advice on how to prepare and cope with severe weather including snow, ice, flooding and high-winds. It seeks to:

Remind individuals and families of the risks and consequences of being underprepared for the impact of severe weatherOffer information and advice on the simple steps that people, businesses and communities can take to reduce those risksHighlight the range of information, support and resources available across all sectors and all regions of ScotlandEncourage as many people as possible to be ready for all kinds of severe weather this winter and beyond

The campaign includes a range of online resources and will feature integrated marketing activity across TV, local press, radio, news websites and social media, and is due to run until mid-November. A national roadshow will also take to the streets, visiting all local authority areas across the country, offering practical information and guidance on preparing for all kinds of severe weather.

Source: ©Scottish Gov

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