Get ready for winter driving
The Highways Agency has issued the following advice. There are things you can do at the start of winter, before the bad weather, to prepare your vehicle and reduce the chances of breaking down. Check your vehicle is in good running order, make sure tyres have got plenty of tread and consider regular servicing to help minimise the risk. If you’re going away, check what the forecast says for your return journey and if you’re travelling some distance remember to check the weather at your destination and along the route too.
Gather together the following items and pack in your vehicle at the start of the winter season, you never know when you might need them!
- Ice scraper and de-icer
- Warm clothes and blankets — for you and all passengers
- Torch and spare batteries — or a wind-up torch
- First aid kit
- Jump leads
- A shovel
- Road atlas
- Sunglasses (the glare off winter sun can be dazzling)
In addition, when setting out on journeys during the winter season remember to take with you:
- Food and a flask with a hot drink
- Any medication you, or other people travelling with you, need to take regularly
Check that your vehicle is ready for winter using the POWDERY checklist as a good reminder:
- PETROL (or diesel). Have you got enough? Do you know where to fill up?
- OIL — check levels once a month
- WATER — check radiator and screen¬wash regularly
- DAMAGE — check wipers, lights etc for signs of wear and tear or damage, and make sure windscreens, windows and lights are clear of ice and snow.
- ELECTRICS — check lights, indicators and controls are working properly
- RUBBER TYRES — are they well inflated, legal, with good tread and free from damage?
- YOU — are you fit to drive? Have you slept well? Are you taking any medication that could make it unsafe for you to drive?
If you are planning to travel with pets, ensure that animals are safe and secure, and will not be a distraction to the driver or people travelling in your vehicle — seek appropriate advice before you travel.
The Winchelsea Emergency Group
Richard Comotto, Co-ordinator
Carol Eldridge, Emergency Response Warden
Stewart Elms, Emergency Response Warden
Chris Mears, Emergency Response Warden
Howard Norton, Flood Warden
To contact the Group, call 01797 224446 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
To view the Winchelsea Emergency Plan
You are welcome to download a copy of the Plan from which personal data have been removed. If you are from a village seeking to produce your own emergency plan, please contact us. We are happy to share our experience.
How to prepare for an emergency
An Emergency Information card has been produced and distributed to each household in Winchelsea. The card advises on basic preparations for a civil emergency, and explains how the Winchelsea Emergency Plan would work. It also gives the name of the Emergency Response Warden for each street. A special information card has been produced and distributed to households at the bottom of the hill in Winchelsea, which are at risk of flooding. If you live in a road at risk from flooding, you can sign up to the Floodline warning service run by the Environment Agency.
Advice for bad weather
The bad weather at the end of 2009 and start of 2010 prompted us to offer some precautionary advice. The weather at the end of 2010 turned out to be even worse than a year earlier. Just in case of another bout of bad weather, we are keeping the advice posted.
Be prepared. Think about getting in:
- a store of non-perishable basic foods that would keep you and any pets going for a couple of days
- a couple of large bottles of water (tap water is fine --- just continually use and refill)
- logs, oil or coal (if you are able to use any of these fuels)
- lamps, torches or candles (don’t forget batteries & matches)
- warm clothes and blankets
Consider buying some means of cooking or heating that is not dependent on gas or electricity (eg a camping ring).
Be a good neighbour. Keep an eye on vulnerable neighbours. Are they keeping warm? Do they need shopping or other help? Do they have a helper who cannot get to Winchelsea? If you need help in order to help your neighbour, call WEG or a ward councillor. And ignore urban myths about Good Samaritans being sued. Just use commonsense. So, don’t worry about clearing snow from pavements on your street (and feel free to use the grit in the yellow bins in German Street, St Thomas’s Street, Roberts Hill and Strand Hill).
Avoid unnecessary personal risks. In bad weather, don’t make unnecessary car trips. If you must travel, check your car before you set out, clear any snow off the roof, take a (charged) mobile phone, pack extra warm clothing, a torch, a shovel and something like sacking to put under slipping tyres, stick to main roads and drive cautiously. Even if you go out for a walk, don’t go alone, or else wrap up well, take a mobile, and tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back.
Clearing snow from the pavement
Follow the Snow Code --- advice issued by the Department for Transport on clearing snow and ice from the pavement outside your home or public spaces to prevent slips and falls. Follow the snow code to clear snow and ice safely.
Grit bins in Winchelsea
If you need grit to put on frozen pavements or roads, there are deposits in several yellow bins placed around the village. The District and County Councils have no objection to the sensible use of this grit on the roads.
- St Thomas's Street --- in front of the electricity sub-station
- German Street --- by the side of the bus shelter
- Roberts Hill (A259) --- two bins on W bank between the junction with Mill Road/Lane and the Ferry Gate --- this is a dangerous location!!!
- at the bottom of Strand Hill --- on the NW corner
- Royal Military Road --- on the SE corner of the Strand Bridge
After a flood
English Heritage has published a technical advice note to aid all those concerned with flood-damaged buildings and their contents, but particularly those which are of historic interest, whether statutorily listed or lying within conservation areas.
More information on emergency planning
The County Council has published a useful review of local risks and precautions called Community Risks in Sussex. Page 45, at the end of the document, sets out a very useful advice on how to plan for an emergency and what to do when it happens. This expands on the advice given in our Emergency Information card.