Emergencies - weather
Each year the government releases information on how to keep yourself safe during a heatwave:
The heatwave plan runs from 1 June to 15 September each year.
The following information will give you an idea on how to prepare for snow and ice, how to deal with frosty conditions and what the council will do to help you get about. You can find more information on the Met Office's web page about getting ready for winter.
How to prepare
Make sure you listen out for weather updates on the radio and TV, visit the internet, including the Met Office website or look at newspapers. If severe weather is forecast, our pdfs in the documents section of this page on preparing for snow and ice have some tips that may help you. You may also want to read:
- the Met Office advice on dealing with snow - Met Office Snow Code
- Preparing for winter by Scottish and Southern Energy
Plan for power outages by visiting the SSE Power Distribution (SSEPD) web site; these are the people that maintain the power lines - no matter from whom you buy your electricity. SSEPD also offer a Priority service for the elderly, infirm or people with various medical conditions.
What you can do during the bad weather
Firstly, make sure you’re linked in to vital information on school closures, revised bin collections, road conditions and other snow/ice related details by checking the council's website and listening to local radio stations.
Be a good neighbour - check on friends and neighbours to make sure they are okay, especially those who are elderly and vulnerable. If they need assistance speak to adult social care by calling 01344 352000.
You can also help by clearing pavements around your home. There is no law preventing members of the public from clearing snow and ice from pavements near their home, although common sense should be applied.
If you do decide to clear snow/ice, here are some tips:
- do not use hot water – this could increase the risk of black ice
- choose suitable clothing for the task, including sturdy footwear and a high visibility jacket if available
- do not take unnecessary risks by stepping on to the road – vehicles will take longer to stop if it’s icy
- do not block other people’s paths/ homes by dumping cleared snow in front of them
- use a shovel with a wide blade
- make a line down the middle of the area to be cleared first, giving you a clear path to shovel snow from centre to side
- spread salt on the area you have cleared to stop it becoming icy - you can use table or dishwasher salt - a few tablespoons of salt for each square metre should be enough
Drive safely - if you do need to drive during icy and/or snowy conditions it’s important to drive safely.
Whatever the weather be prepared and take action accordingly. The Met Office is a good source of information.
What the council will do for you
To help you get out and about, the council and its contractors will salt primary and secondary roads within the resources available. These roads are the major roads around the borough and also include roads outside schools, shopping areas and health centres. Please visit our page about gritting for more information.
The council and its contractors will try to avoid any delay to waste collection services, but should extreme snowfall and/or ice disrupt the service, revised collection dates will be available on this website.