County braced for severe snow: Are you ready?

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As the south-east braces itself for expected heavy snowfalls today, Herts County Council is urging everyone to be prepared.

Gritters are operating around the clock to ensure that main transport routes are still passable.

But motorists are urged to consider whether their journey is essential. If you do need to make a journey, take account of the weather conditions and be particularly careful around frozen streams and lakes.

Salt stocks are high, county workers have started to fill salt bins and district, borough and parish councils have been provided with salt to help keep key routes, particularly pavements, safer during cold spells.

A County Hall spokesman said: “Residents are reminded that it is legal to clear snow from driveways and paths – advice on how to do this is available on our website at www.hertsdirect.org/salting. Please remember that salt we provide is for use on roads and pavements, not private land like driveways. “

And council leader Councillor Robert Gordon added: “Please do all you can to prepare for this cold snap, checking on any vulnerable neighbours from time to time to see if they need a helping hand.”

If you need help, are struggling to heat your home and don’t know who to turn to, call HertsHelp, a network of community organisations, on 0300 123 4044 for free help, advice and information.

Heat your home safely by ensuring that open fires have a fire guard around them at all times, heaters are in good condition and gas appliances are checked each year by an engineer on the Gas Safe Register.

Make sure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order. Carbon monoxide claims several lives every year in the UK caused by faulty gas and other heating appliances. For more information, visit www.hertsdirect.org/wintersafety

Winter advice is available by clicking on the yellow tab on the front page of our website at www.hertsdirect.org which covers all our services, including information provided by schools on whether they are open.

Further information about the winter service, from the routes we salt and the location of our salt bins, to advice for residents on clearing snow and driving tips to help keep motorists safe during icy weather, can be found here

A video is also available profiling the work of salting crews and showing residents what they can do on and around their own properties to clear ice and snow

You can find out when gritters are going out by following us on ‘Gritter twitter’, which sends tweets and RSS feeds direct to your computer or mobile phone with information on when we are going out salting.

Click here for the Twitter feed