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Caithness News Bulletins January 2003

January 2003 Caithness.org News 2002

Dec 2002

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Highland Council Emergency Information             More Emergency Contacts      Helpline Numbers

Emergency Contact Numbers

Handy out of hours emergency telephone numbers to keep by your telephone over the winter period are as follows: -

Roads and Transport: 0845-769-7284
Social Work: 0845-769-7284
Housing: 0845-700-2005
Fire Brigade: 01463-227000 (24 hours)
Northern Constabulary 01463-715555
Scottish Water 0845-601-8855
SEPA Floodline 0845-988-1188
Scottish & Southern Electric Freephone: 0800-300-999
Transco Gas Freephone: 0800 -11-999
Highland Roadline:
(Please use these numbers rather than those of the police)
09003-401-363 (Highland roads and links to the south)
09003-401-100 (all other areas of Scotland)
BEAR Scotland (Trunk road maintenance) 0800-587-1108 (for info on the A82, A830, A835, A86, A87, A887, A889, A9, and the A99)
0800-587-1107 (for info about the A95 and A96)

Keeping Parents Informed

In recent years we have recognised a need to improve the service we provide in schools in keeping parents informed when bad weather strikes or there is a problem with school transport. In the past, parents and teachers alike were frustrated by the constraints of having only one telephone line available at the school.

The Highland Council has adopted an automated call handling system, devised by Thus PLC, one of the UK’s leading providers of communications’ solutions, which provides the service through a national call rate telephone number, thereby minimising costs. 

The system allows the Head teacher to put on an adverse weather information as well as up to 10 general information messages on the school and school events.  By dialling in and inserting the school specific pin number, parents can access this information at anytime of day and can access information from more than one school within one telephone call. 

This is potentially a considerable enhancement to the communication between school and home, you should still pay close attention to the existing arrangements, including radio announcements on school closures, outlined in the recent Adverse Weather Guidelines issued by your school.

When weather conditions are poor:-

  • Local radio stations issue news and weather bulletins on traffic conditions and school closures. Transmissions may not cover all households and may be subject to re-scheduling but should be helpful. Parents are advised to remain "tuned in" to ongoing road weather, or school information updates.

Broadcast times

BBC Radio Highland

6.55 am - 7.00 am 7.50 pm - 8.00 pm
12.55 pm - 1.00 pm 4.55 pm - 5.00 pm

In extreme conditions Radio Highland will interrupt Radio Scotland transmissions, usually on the hour, to carry emergency bulletins. Nevis Radio will carry bulletins at roughly ten minute intervals between 7.00 am and 8.00 am and Lochbroom FM at quarter-hour intervals between 7.15 am and 8.45 am.

Moray Firth Radio

Normally hourly news bulletins and half-hourly summaries will carry local information on weather, roads and conditions affecting schools. In severe conditions normal programmes will be interrupted more frequently to carry emergency bulletins.

SEPA flooding message

Many parts of the Highlands have suffered the dramatic and traumatic consequences of flooding in recent years. But the Floodline service from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency can help you protect your home or business. Call Floodline on 0845 988 1188 or visit http://www.sepa.org.uk/flooding 

Floodline covers all of Scotland and gives notice of possible flooding. The service also provides advice about precautions to take. Floodline operates by giving an alert code indicating that there is a flood risk in a particular area. This alert, known as Flood Watch, will advise callers that they need to be aware, especially if the property is prone to flooding. 

'Flood Watch' means flooding is possible, and the situation could worsen, so: 

*              watch water levels and keep an eye on the weather
*              stay tuned to local radio or TV
*              make sure you have what you need to put your flood plan into action
*              reconsider travel plans
*              notify relevant departments/check resources
*              farmers - check livestock
*              check the Floodline quick dial number for your area regularly 

In some parts of the country, where there is a history of serious flooding, there are local flood warning schemes, operated by SEPA with local authorities and the police. The following set of standard codes applies throughout the UK. Remember - they apply only to existing flood warning scheme areas! (Call Floodline with your postcode to find out if you live within one of these areas.) 

'Flood Warning' means: flooding of homes, businesses and main roads is expected. Act now! 

'Severe Flood  Warning' means: serious flooding is expected. There is imminent danger to life and property. Act now! 

'All Clear' will be issued when there are no longer Flood Watches or Flood Warnings in force. Flood water levels receding. Check all is safe to return. Seek advice. 

All flood warning alerts are serious. Do take the appropriate steps as soon as you hear a warning. Don't wait until the situation gets worse before you do anything. The better prepared you are, the better you will cope with the effects of flooding. 

Highland Council will make filled sandbags available on request from the public in areas liable to flooding.  Where the elderly and housebound are affected the sandbags will be delivered.