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It’s snow joke .. let’s get ready!

When the wintery weather kicks in, we all activate our emergency plans, prepare for the worst and hope for the best and that’s without even mentioning potholes!

During adverse weather we see huge spikes to government websites across the board for various reasons including school closures, travel and transport disruption, day centre closures, weather warnings etc and it really highlights to me how much people do rely on us during difficult times.

It is at these points that I actively encourage all of my clients to make it as easy as possible for people to get access to information whether that be by adding a bad weather overlay to their website, tweeting sign up links, changing the homepage feature to encourage subscriptions etc. We know that taking the information directly to our residents helps to build trust and make them feel more secure about the whole situation that is impacting on them. It also provides an opportunity to raise awareness of other services you provide, to grow community resilience and to educate the public.

Below is just one example of how Bradford tackled the severe weather and the results they saw – real outcomes including more rough sleepers put into temporary accommodation and being kept safe.

I am all for ceasing the moment however, I do think there is more we can do upfront to support people be it in snow or a heat wave. For example, why not start a community pledge, get people to sign up and to say what they can do to support in the bad weather either use of 4x4s, checking in on the more vulnerable members of our community etc. If we did this we could then segment this information and approach the right people when required? Why not run seasonal email campaigns talking about gritting, sharing the maps, promoting your Twitter Gritter account to avoid calls into your organisation? Get people preparing their cars earlier, give tips on how to stop freezing pipes and how to drive in bad conditions to avoid crashes, create a winter plan or get the flu jab.

If you want to find out more or share some ideas then please drop me a message in the comments below, I would love to hear how you have prepared and what innovative ideas you have come up with.

Let’s give everyone the best service possible together and in the meantime, stay warm folks!