There’s nothing we like better than moaning about the weather, allegedly. It’s always too cold, too wet, too hot or too windy and in our hearts, we really enjoy a good whinge about what the elements are throwing at us that particular day.
The Scottish Government took this to a whole new level, by issuing a very serious sounding press release last week stating that after two mild winters, people in Scotland are less worried about severe weather incidents. The research, commissioned by the Scottish Government and the British Red Cross, found 40 per cent of Scots surveyed said that they were concerned about emergencies caused by treacherous weather conditions, down from almost half of those questioned a year ago.
Apparently, almost nine out of 10 car owners believe they are prepared for an emergency, largely because three-quarters carry an ice-scraper and de-icer, while seven per cent had experienced an extreme weather emergency in the past year, with higher levels in rural areas. Of these, two-fifths claimed they got together with neighbours to help them cope.
Launching this year’s Ready for Winter? campaign, Transport Minister Keith Brown issued a warning: “If there is anything recent winters have shown us it is that Scottish weather is unpredictable. The unpredictability of weather patterns means we cannot simply hope that we will miss the worst of it. While we can’t stop the weather causing disruption, we can be well prepared to cope with it.”
While I couldn’t help but smile at the grave tone of the press release, it does have a serious message. The terrible winters we experienced a couple of years ago came as a shock to many people and it obviously pays to plan ahead. But before you all rush off to stockpile items to see out a potential storm, remember that a lot of winter preparedness is about common sense (all those people who got stuck on the M8 in 2010 after ignoring warnings not to travel, I’m looking at you). The Scottish Government and councils work as hard as they can to keep things moving but it pays to be prepared, so log on to readyscotland.org and make Keith Brown happy.