Being prepared for winter blast

Families, businesses and communities in Midlothian are being encouraged to prepare for winter through a public awareness campaign.

The Scottish Government’s ‘Ready for Winter?’ campaign is being delivered in partnership with the British Red Cross and a range of public, private and voluntary sector partners.

Research shows most Scots are concerned about the prospect of severe weather but don’t feel prepared for an emergency situation, and that many people would welcome information and advice on how to prepare and cope.

As a result, the ‘Ready for Winter?’ campaign will:

l Remind people of the risks and consequences of being underprepared for the impact of severe winter weather;

l Offer information and advice on the simple steps that people, businesses and communities can take to reduce those risks;

l Highlight the range of information, support and resources available across all sectors

l And encourage as many people as possible to be ready for winter.

Due to run until mid-November, the campaign will include a range of online resources.

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

Speaking at the campaign launch, 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 have worked with all our partners in the public, private and voluntary sector to learn the lessons and improve and invest in our services so that we are in a position to hope for the best but 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 and a wide range of other partners.

Norman McKinley, director of the British Red Cross in Scotland, said: “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.”

Meanwhile, up to 10,000 extra Scottish households will be given free help to cut their energy bills.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has allocated a further £6 million to install vital energy efficiency measures, such as loft and cavity insulation into Scottish homes.

Call 0800 512 012 for details.