accessibility & help

Get ready for winter

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Severe weather can strike quickly and cause major disruption to our homes, families and communities.

The good news is that, with a few simple steps, it’s easy to prepare for sudden snow, storms, flooding, and other winter emergencies. 

What to do now

At home


It’s a good idea to write down the telephone number of someone you can call in an emergency, in case you lose access to your mobile or the internet. It is also worth preparing your data and devices by doing the following:

  • Upload password-protected copies of key documents, such as insurance papers and identification documents, to a backup or cloud drive – secured in a remote location.
  • On your smartphone, download a flashlight app and get bookmarks and apps for all the websites you use regularly: including weather alerts, evacuation routes and first aid training.
  • Download our free emergency app.
  • Store extra batteries or chargers (handcrank or solar) with your emergency kit.

At work

Check your workplace has a severe weather plan and a list of emergency business contacts (PDF) – so you know what to do and who to call if you can’t get in.

Local schools

Prepare young people for snow and ice with the wintry activities in our teaching resource, and the Education Scotland emergencies resource.

What to do in severe weather

On the move

Think carefully about whether you should travel now or wait until conditions improve. Before setting off:

  • Check weather, news and travel reports – the closer to the time you leave, the better.
  • Take your kit of essential emergency items.
  • Tell someone where you’re going.
  • Think about other ways to get to and from your destination.
  • Charge your mobile phone and make sure you've downloaded our free emergency app.

In your community

A few things you can do to help people in your area:

  • Check on neighbours, family and friends, especially those who live on their own. 
  • Clear snow or ice from the pathways of those who can’t do it themselves.
  • Think about who will help anyone you normally look after, if you are stranded.
  • Volunteer to help vulnerable people in your neighbourhood.


Sort out your emergency kit

Landrover in snow

Put together an emergency kit for your home, one for on the move, and one for your car.

Prepare your kit now >

Prepare for floods and flooding

UK floods

Millions of people in the UK live in flood-risk areas. Find out how to protect your home and family.

Tips on getting prepared >