Gear up for the winter weather

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Agencies across Grampian are gearing up for winter weather and urging residents to make sure they are prepared too.

Emergency services and local authorities are keen to encourage everyone to prepare for winter which can arrive in Grampian much earlier than other parts of Scotland with little notice.

The Grampian Strategic Coordinating Group, a multi-agency response team which prepares for and supports the response in an emergency, have worked together to develop guidance for people to use when preparing for the winter.

The guidance includes important steps everyone should take to keep themselves safe and focuses on Your Home, Your Travel, Your Community and Your Business.

Your Home covers a range of issues like making sure that medicine cabinets are stocked, pipes are protected from freezing temperatures, stocking up fuel supplies, clearing paths around your home and making sure someone knows where you are and how to contact you.

Your Travel encourages people to plan ahead, checking the forecast and making sure that transport services are running to their normal schedules, changing driving styles to suit the conditions and making sure you can keep warm and comfortable if your journey is delayed.

Your Community urges people to think about their neighbours in poor weather, whether transport can be shared with others and if the community can work together to clear paths and drives. Community groups may also wish to consider developing community resilience plans.

Your Business highlights the need for businesses to have contingency plans in place to keep operating with fewer staff or when utilities such as power and water are not available in some premises.

Public agencies have done their part in preparing for the winter, making sure that salt and grit is fully stocked, checking their vehicles and reviewing their procedures to enable them to be fully prepared for the return to winter. Information will be made available on all the public agency websites, through social media and will be well publicised throughout the area.

On behalf of Grampian Strategic Coordinating Group, Colin McKerracher, Chief Constable said: “Although this year we have not seen much of summer, we are all too aware that winter can approach us quickly in Grampian. Whilst public agencies will carry out their duties to the full, it is important that everyone takes some personal responsibility for making sure they are ready for winter weather. Although last year was not too severe, previous winters caught many people out and we all need to do our bit to make sure we don’t get caught out by the weather again.

“I encourage everyone to consider at this early stage what they need to do to be prepared for winter weather and take steps now so that you, your family, your community and your business are prepared.”

Information about preparing for severe weather is available at: www.readygrampian.org