3 December 2012
Council issues snow and ice advice
For many of us this weekend was the first time when we had to clear ice from our car windscreens and wrap up warm on our way to work. With the possibility of further cold periods and icy conditions, Rochford District Council is issuing advice on how you can stay warm, healthy and safe this winter.
There are a number of ways you and your family can prepare for winter weather.
Protect your home
- Check that pipes are adequately lagged
- Check that you have ordered your winter heating fuel
- Check that you know where your stoptap is located
- Find out if you are entitled to grants and subsidies for home heating and insulation
- Before you travel, check the winter weather forecast at the Met Office’s winter weather portal
- Check that your vehicle is ready for winter
- Check that you know where to find traffic and travel information
- Check local and national weather forecasts and keep up to date with the latest warnings
- Check that you have an emergency kit available in your car
- Check you know who might need help in your community area in really bad weather
- Check weather warnings on the Met Office website
- Check whether you are at risk of flooding and sign up for free flood warnings by visiting the Environment Agency’s website.
The Council is also offering advice to residents about clearing snow and ice. The Council’s Emergency Planning Officer, Peter McKenzie, said: “One of the most frequent questions I get asked is whether residents’ are liable for anything that happens if they clear snow and ice from outside their property, pathways to their property or public spaces. Government guidance is clear on this issue. The guidance says there’s no law stopping you from doing this and that if an accident did happen, it's highly unlikely that action would be taken against you as long as you’re careful and use common sense to ensure that you don't make the pavement or pathway more dangerous than before. So if you are clearing snow and ice use your common sense. For example, don’t use boiling water as this can refreeze and create black ice; don’t release snow from the shovel into the path of vehicles or pedestrians and don’t dump snow so as to conceal a hazard. In this cold weather, it’s important that the community supports each other so I would also urge you to check on neighbours and relatives and – if you have to travel in cold weather – check traffic and weather reports before leaving your house.”