It’s not too late to get prepared for winter weather

Icy weather is on the way
Icy weather is on the way

East Dunbartonshire residents are being urged to take steps now to prepare for winter as part of a new campaign.

The message in the Scottish Government’s Ready for Winter? initiative is for people to take an hour out of their time to plan ahead for severe weather.

A spokesman said: “Don’t wait until it happens - doing a few things now could save you heartache later. We all need to consider the risks of severe weather.”

The campaign wants people to ensure their homes and vehicles are prepared and suggests ways in which they can help vulnerable people in the community to cope.

In severe weather conditions, your journey could take longer than expected. Before travelling in bad weather, you should:

Check the weather forecast and road conditions.

Consider if your journey can wait until the weather improves.

Look at all alternative routes and alternative modes of transport.

Always allow extra time for your journey and make sure your car is ready for poor weather.

­Have your mobile phone fully charged and tell someone your destination and when you expect to arrive.

­Consider fitting winter tyres to your vehicle.

Your emergency kit in your car should include: an ice scraper and de-icer; a shovel for snow; torch and spare batteries; warm clothes, boots and a blanket; food and a warm drink in a flask; first-aid kit, battery jump leads and map for any unplanned diversions.

On public transport, dress for the forecast and have a means of contacting your family.

Cyclists need to be particularly vigilant on the road.

Ensure you and your bike are visible to other road users by investing in a good set of front and rear lights.

Wear bright clothes that help you be seen.

Get a good set of mud guards and consider heavy duty tyres with a deeper tread to cope with slippery surfaces.

Invest in warm, waterproof clothing including gloves that still allow you to switch gears and use the brakes easily.

Don’t attempt to cycle on pavements as they may be slippy and get a routine bike maintenance check.

Pedestrians should wear shoes or boots with non-slip soles and wear reflective clothing to be seen.

Remember, vehicles can take up to 10 times longer to stop on slippery surfaces.

Make a household plan for you and your family in an emergency.

Frozen pipes are always a danger. Find out how to turn off the water supply and have a list of emergency contacts to hand.

Make sure you have access to a shovel and salt or grit for clearing snow and ice from paths and drives. ­­Have a battery-operated torch and spare batteries, a first -aid kit, three days supply of bottled water and ­­ready-to-eat food that won’t go off in case you are snowed in.

Be a good neighbour - severe weather can leave some people vulnerable. Identify family or neighbours who may need an extra helping hand if severe weather strikes

Have their phone numbers to hand and offer to help with shopping or other essential tasks as well as cleaing ice or snow from pathways.

For more info, visit www.readyscotland.org