Nearly 40% of people living in Britain have been caught out by severe winter weather, according to the latest research conducted by the Met Office.
The research shows that of those who had been impacted by severe weather, over a third said they were caught out due to a lack of preparation.
The Met Office conducted a survey of over 2000 adults across Britain to assess how prepared the public feels for winter weather and some of the most common impacts included over half of people having activities impacted, almost a quarter having dealt with power cuts and 19% who experienced a broken boiler.
The survey comes as the Met Office launches its winter #WeatherReady campaign, aiming to help the public to be prepared ahead of potential severe weather.
Supported by Cabinet Office, WeatherReady brings together expert advice on travel, protecting property and looking after health and wellbeing to help the public stay prepared for any weather.
Paymaster General Penny Mordaunt MP said, “The UK faces the risk of severe weather throughout the year. From central government through to individuals and communities, we must all be prepared and we all have a role to play in minimising the impact it can have on us.
“The Met Office WeatherReady campaign reminds us all to think ahead and consider how we might be impacted by severe weather this coming winter. By following a few simple steps, you can reduce the impact of weather on you, your families and homes, and your wider community.”
Reassuringly, three quarters of people questioned said they felt prepared for winter weather this year, with over half of people adjusting their heating systems to help stave off the cold. In addition, 62% of those with vulnerable neighbours say they would check in on them during times of severe weather.
Almost half of respondents suggested that disruption to travel was one of the impacts that caused them the most problems, highlighting the importance of preparing vehicles for winter travel and making contingency plans for times of severe weather.
Chief Executive of the Met Office Penny Endersby said, “The message behind WeatherReady – one of the Met Office’s flagship campaigns – is all about empowering individuals and communities to take control of how the weather impacts them.
“By collaborating with partners, local resilience forums, emergency responders and communities across the UK, we’re able to develop and deliver expert advice to help businesses, communities and individuals take action to mitigate the impacts of severe weather and be prepared for any conditions.”
Over half of those surveyed said they check the weather forecast daily, but with so many still being caught out by severe weather, the importance remains for people to take action when seeing severe weather in the forecast and stay prepared for severe weather throughout the year.
Head of Civil Contingencies at the Met Office Will Lang said, “It’s great that three quarters of the public surveyed say they feel prepared ahead of the winter weather but this shouldn’t lead to complacency when there are simple steps everyone can take so they are better prepared for severe weather.
“People can be affected by severe winter weather in different ways and it’s important for everyone to be aware of the impacts severe weather can bring. With WeatherReady, we work with experts around the country to provide the UK public with advice to help them stay safe throughout the year.”
Find out more about WeatherReady on the Met Office website, or search #WeatherReady on social media.
Get started by checking out 10 things you should do now to prepare for winter weather.