Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

Extreme weather 'is biggest fear'

Freak weather brings havoc to a UK town
Freak weather brings havoc to a UK town

Extreme weather is a bigger concern for people than terrorism, according to a survey.

Weather emergencies topped a list, with around half saying they are very or quite concerned (49%).

The proportion is up from the 38% recorded last year and is higher than power cuts (46%), health emergencies (37%) and terrorism (31%).

The research by TNS BMRB was published as the Scottish Government unveiled its "ready for winter" campaign.

Transport Minister Keith Brown said: "With the clocks changing next week, the campaign calls on everyone to use the extra hour to get ready in the home, before a journey, at our place of work and in our communities. This will serve us well not just throughout the winter months but all year round and in a range of emergency situations.

"As we have seen in Scotland, severe weather can strike quickly and at any time of year. In March we saw the impact of severe snowstorms on communities in Arran, Kintyre and Dumfries and Galloway.

"The weather can cause a range of problems but we can be ready for them. So, whether it is making your home energy efficient, protecting your pipes, packing an emergency kit for the car or looking out for vulnerable neighbours, we can all play our part in helping Scotland get ready for winter."

The survey was commissioned by the Government and the British Red Cross and is based on responses from just over 1,000 people in July. It offers a glimpse at how people are prepared for various situations.

The proportion of people saying they are prepared for extreme weather increased from 39% last year to 44%.

One in 10 feel they are very or quite prepared for terrorism (11%), just under the 13% score for major transport incidents.

It also shows around three in 10 people experienced disruption to their water, gas or electricity supplies in the last 12 months (28%). The proportion reached two in five in rural areas (41%).

Red Cross operations director David Miller said: "At the Red Cross we know that severe weather, including snow and floods, can happen quickly and have serious consequences. However, with a few simple steps you can make yourself and others more able to cope with the disruption it can bring.

"You can prepare an emergency kit for your home and car, jot down your emergency phone numbers and check on any neighbours, family or friends to see if they will need any help."

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