Scotland prepares for the storm

FOLLOWING two of Scotland’s most severe winters, the Scottish government has launched a campaign to prepare people for the impact.

The government has teamed up with the Red Cross to make sure nobody is caught out by what looks to be the imminent onset of snow and freezing temperatures.

This follows research which shows the majority of Scots are concerned about the prospect of severe weather episodes and that most don’t feel personally prepared for an emergency situation.

Speaking at the launch of the campaign, Scotland’s Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, who has responsibility for resilience issues, said: “No-one can say with any certainty what this winter might bring, but after the severe weather conditions we experienced in the past two years we must prepare for the worst.

“The evidence of the last two winters has shown that individuals and communities are stronger when they help themselves and help others.

“ We also know that people want to be better prepared for whatever conditions they might have to face, and are looking for advice and information to help them get ready for winter.

“That’s why we have been delighted to link up with the British Red Cross to deliver this first-ever severe weather preparedness campaign, which will also involve Scottish councils.

He added: “This is about letting people know that there are small but sensible steps they can take now that will help individuals and families cope if extreme weather hits their communities, allowing them to continue their day-to-day lives with as little disruption as possible”.

The campaign will run across TV, national and local press, news websites and social media, and is due to run until mid-November.

It follows a call from the British Red Cross for specific public resilience campaign work, similar to that already delivered in a number of other countries.

Norman McKinley, director of the British Red Cross in Scotland, said: “Winter can be tough on everyone — especially vulnerable people — but there’s a lot we can do to prepare ourselves for severe weather.

“The Red Cross is pleased to be working in partnership with the Scottish Government to help people get ready for winter.

“If everyone asks themselves how prepared they are in the home, on the road and in the community and takes steps to prepare for the season ahead, the problems of winter can be greatly reduced”.

Earlier this month, a £15m plan to keep Scotland’s transport system moving this winter was revealed.

Salt stocks already contain 80,000 tonnes of salt, which equates to 75% of last year’s salt usage.