Simple steps to get you ready for winter months

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Getting ready for winter is something we all need to do – it takes only a few simple steps.

Here are some ‘cut-out and keep’ tips to help you be prepared at home, on the road or in your community this winter.

At home:

Getting ready for winter at home is easy. Just make a household plan and collect together the items that will be essential to you and your family in an emergency.

Make your home more energy efficient, keep dry by protecting pipes and knowing how to turn off the water supply if you need to, and make sure you stay connected by keeping a battery operated radio and a list of emergency contact numbers to hand

Prepare an emergency kit that contains what you need.

Here are some things to include:- your household plan, including emergency contact numbers; a battery operated torch and spare batteries (or a wind up torch); a battery operated radio and spare batteries (or a wind up radio); a first aid kit, some toiletries and any essential medicines; three days’ supply of bottled water and ready to eat food that won’t go off; copies of important documents like insurance policies and birth certificates; pencil, paper, a penknife and a whistle; pet supplies; spare keys to your home and car; spare glasses or contact lenses.

In the car:

Get ready for winter on the road by packing a few essential items in your car.

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

Before travelling in bad weather, you should:- check the weather forecast and road conditions; consider whether you need to travel right now or if it can wait until the weather improves; consider alternative routes; consider alternative modes of transport; allow extra time for your journey; make sure your car is ready for a journey in poor weather; make sure your mobile phone is fully charged; tell someone your destination and when you expect to arrive; consider fitting winter tyres to your vehicle.

In your community:

Last year’s severe winter weather struck quickly leaving some people vulnerable.

A little planning now can help keep people warm and safe this winter:-

Identify family or neighbours who may need an extra helping hand if severe weather strikes; have their phone numbers to hand; offer to help with grocery shopping or other essential tasks; clear ice or snow from your pathway; remember, bad ice can make things just as difficult as deep snow for some people; your community can get ready for winter by agreeing what you, your neighbours and your colleagues can do on your own and collectively to minimise the effects of winter weather where you live and work; You can volunteer to help others during winter by contacting www.volunteerscotland.org.uk

For more information and advice on how to complete your household plan, go to www.readyscotland.org