Are you Ready for Winter?
Families, businesses and communities across Scotland are being encouraged to prepare for winter through a national public awareness campaign being launched today.
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.
On the back of research which shows the majority of Scots are concerned about the prospect of severe weather episodes, that most don't feel personally prepared for an emergency situation, and that many people would welcome information and advice on how to prepare and cope, the 'Ready for Winter?' campaign will:
- Remind individuals and families of the risks and consequences of being underprepared for the impact of severe winter weather
- Offer information and advice on the simple steps that people, businesses and communities can take to reduce those risks
- Highlight the range of information, support and resources available across all sectors and all regions of Scotland
- Encourage as many people as possible to be ready for winter this year
The campaign will include a range of online resources and will feature integrated marketing activity 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.
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 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.
"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 and discomfort as possible. This will include:
- Preparing themselves and their families by being aware of the risks, planning appropriately, agreeing emergency contacts and making necessary arrangements
- Preparing their home by making houses and flats more energy efficient, protecting pipes, being aware how to turn off water and power, and having the food and medicine they need
- Preparing their car by ensuring vehicles are well maintained, carry an emergency kit in the boot, and check road and weather conditions before travelling
- Being able to cope in an emergency by knowing how to keep themselves safe, how to get up to date information, and how to help those less able
"Getting ready for winter is something we all need to do. This campaign will show the simple steps we can all take to achieve this, and play our part in helping Scotland be better prepared, whatever the weather throws at us."
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."
Councillor Pat Watters, president of Cosla, said:
"The last few winters have delivered some of the most severe weather to effect Scottish communities in nearly a century. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the numerous examples of public service providers, groups and individuals going above and beyond expectations to support the vulnerable members of society and their community in general during these testing conditions.
"Given the experiences of the recent past winters, I would encourage all of Scotland to continue to support and if not already, to get involved in community initiatives to prepare for winter.
"Also, I would ask you to take a second to consider personally "Are you ready for Winter?" If the answer is not a resounding "Yes", then this campaign does contain a number of tips and general advice to enable you to reduce the impact of severe weather on your family, community, home and car.
"Finally, if significant winter weather does occur it will effect the delivery of all public services and also lead to a particular concentration on the delivery of services to the vulnerable members of our society. I know that even in these testing conditions, local government staff as in previously winters will strive to continue to deliver quality public services. Conditions may prevail but it won't be for want of trying."
A variety of organisations are supporting the campaign including Cosla, Scottish Water, ACPOS, The Energy Saving Trust, Met Office, NHS, Tesco, Sainsburys, Asda, Kwik-fit, Arnold Clark, Scotrail, the Scottish Retail Consortium, the National Federation of Retail Newsagents, the Scottish Grocery Federation, main airports across Scotland, 545 libraries and some of Scotland's largest employers.
The 'Ready for Winter?' campaign will be supported with information road shows held in every local authority across Scotland and a range of on-line resources to help raise awareness, signpost information and provide practical advice and tips.
Research published today looks at emergency preparedness in Scotland. The research was carried out using the Scottish Opinion Survey (SOS) during the period 25-31 May 2011 and a total of 1,039 interviews was achieved.