The Scottish Government is asking everyone to ensure that they are ready for winter, in what some forecasters believe may be one of the coldest yet since the great winter of 1947, which saw one of the lowest temperature ever recorded of minus 21 degrees.
The ‘Ready for Winter’ national campaign urges everyone to put aside an hour now and to start making preparations.
Given the prevalence of more prolonged and severe winters in recent years, some people are more vulnerable than others and this campaign highlights the need to be more organised.
The message is that getting ready for winter is something we all need to do - it doesn’t take long and only requires a few simple steps.
And, it applies equally to communities, workplaces, and drivers because everyone has a part to play.
Don’t wait until things go wrong is one of the key messages being sent out by the Government, doing something now can save a huge amount of trouble later on.
Drivers are being reminded that in severe weather conditions journeys can takemuch longer than expected.
Check the forecast and road conditions before you start out on your journey is advised as well as ensuring your car is ready for winter. Check wiper blades and lightbulbs and fill up your screen wash. Simple things like making certain your mobile telephone has a full charge, carrying some warm clothing, snacks and a hot drink are also a good idea, as are carrying a torch, shovel and some de-icer.
For cyclists, always make sure you are visible to other road users by using a good set of cycle lights and by wearing light or reflective clothing.
Pedestrians are being urged to make sure you have a good solid pair of shoes or boots, and, like cyclists wear appropriate clothing so others can see you.
If wearing hats. scarves or earphones then make sure you look around properly before stepping off pavements to ensure you can hear and see what’s happening around you.
And remember, vehicles travelling on slippery surfaces can take up to ten times longer to come to a halt when braking.
Homeowners should consider putting together an emergency box containing the various items which you might need in an emergency.
This should include; a torch, essential medications, first aid kit, bottled water and ready to eat food. A household plan should include emergency telephone numbers and knowing the location of the water stopcock.