Emergency services across Grampian are coming together to encourage people to be prepared for the rest of the winter and beyond in 2023, with advice on how to make sure we can all stay safe, warm and well.
Have you got all the most important phone numbers you would like to have to hand in an emergency written down? Is there anything that would be helpful to have during a power cut or extreme weather? Do you know where to turn to if you are in need of a bit of extra support?
NHS Grampian’s Director of Infrastructure and Sustainability who has a lead role in civil contingency planning, Paul Allen explains: “Prevention is better than cure and this includes public preparedness for emergencies. Not only does planning offer some peace of mind, it can also help take pressure off services so they can help those most in need during difficult times. Helping our communities to stay well is a key part of our Plan for the Future and we recently launched a winter support booklet which has lots of helpful advice.
“If you’re not sure where to start, visit www.nhsgrampian.org/winter-support Even if it’s not for you, this can help you assist other more vulnerable people. The Ready Scotland website at www.ready.scot is a great reference tool too. It includes a template for an emergency checklist and how to prepare, what to do during an emergency and how to get involved in helping in your local neighbourhood.”
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has a Priority Services Register you can sign up for if you might need extra support in the event of a power cut. This is especially important if you rely on essential medical equipment and is easy to sign up for. They also have a free Power Track app for everyone to access local power cut information and updates.
Shona Horn, SSEN Distribution’s Customer Relationship Manager, said: “We invest millions of pounds every year to make sure that our network delivers a safe and reliable supply of electricity for all our customers – but even with this investment there are still occasions when the power goes off, and so we want to help our customers to be as resilient as possible at times like these, while our teams work hard to get supplies restored.
“Our Priority Services Register offers eligible customers free help and support when the power goes off. It started nearly eight years ago and now has over 785,000 customers signed up, but we know there may still be people out there who either don’t know about the service at all, or who aren’t aware that they may be eligible to sign up. We’re also encouraging our customers to consider a Home Emergency Plan, so that they have all the important phone numbers and people to contact in one handy location, ready to use should the need ever arise.”
The health board’s winter support website (www.nhsgrampian.org/winter-support) covers everything from the numbers to call if you’re in need of emergency food, fuel or money, to healthy, affordable recipes to help everyone stay well. There’s even pointers on gas and fire safety, as well as all the key contacts for health services.
Ready Scotland’s (www.ready.scot) checklist includes the following important numbers:
Emergency services – 999
Non-Emergency police support – 101
NHS 24 – 111
Floodline Scotland – 0345 988 1188
Loss of power – 105
Gas emergencies – 0800 111 999
Scottish Water – 0800 077 8778
It also includes space for you to write down your own essential contacts, such as childcare, vet, plumber, insurance, work, doctor, dentist and utility provider contact details. The website also provides lots of helpful links to information and advice on things like dealing with travel disruption or coping with trauma, and how and where to link in with local groups who may be working together to support your community.