Renfrewshire Council

Prepare for winter weather

How to make sure you ready to deal with the effects of winter weather and stay safe during the winter months. You can prepare your family, your home and your business for the unexpected things that can cause disruption to our daily lives.

There are many ways of preparing for the winter months that will ensure you are equipped whatever the weather.

We want to make sure everyone is #RenReady this winter.

What are we doing to prepare? 

Gritting teams in Renfrewshire are ready to deal with the any cold snap that occurs over the winter period.

Nine gritting machines will cover more than 800km of roads across Renfrewshire, with more than 4000 tonnes of grit ready to keep Renfrewshire moving throughout the winter period.

Our teams monitor the weather on a 24/7 basis and go out during the day when required ahead of the temperature dropping, and then throughout the night to keep our roads as free of snow and ice as possible.

You can track our gritters to see where they are throughout the day and night.

To support you, we also do our best to ensure that all our 540 grit bins are full and available for you to use on your paths and in your streets.

Prepare yourself 

  • Keep supplies of cold/flu medicine at home.
  • Keep warm indoors and out, and wear a hat in cold temperatures as your head is where most of your body heat escapes from.

If you feel unwell, you can get help and advice from:

  • a pharmacy - pharmacists can give treatment advice for a range of minor illnesses and can tell you if you need to see a doctor
  • your GP - you may be able to speak to a GP online or over the phone, or go in for an appointment if they think you need to
  • NHS 111 - go to or call 111 if you have an urgent medical problem and you're not sure what to do

The sooner you get advice, the sooner you are likely to get better.

For more information on staying healthy in the winter months, visit the NHS website

Be helpful 

  • Check on elderly friends, neighbours and relatives regularly.
  • Ask if you can help in any way, for example, with food shopping.]
  • Make sure others are warm enough, especially at night
  • have stocks of food and medicines so they do not need to go out during very cold weather

If you're worried about a relative or elderly neighbour, contact us on 0300 300 0300 or call the Age UK helpline on 0800 678 1602 (8am to 7pm every day).

If you're concerned the person may have hypothermia, contact NHS 111.

Being a good neighbour and clearing paths of ice and snow is the kind of practical step that most of us can take during cold weather. In fact, a helping hand can make all the difference for people who may be unable to clear their own paths, or who need to use local paths to access services.

For more tips on preparing and coping in the winter months, visit the Ready Scotland website.

Clearing paths and driveways

You can borrow a grit spreader, snow shovel and grit from our #TeamUptoCleanUp community caddies.

Here's some tips to keep where you live free of snow and ice:

  • It's much easier to clear fresh snow, so make a start if you can before people squash it down.
  • Don't use hot water. This will melt the snow, but may well replace it with black ice, increasing the risk of injury.
  • Choose suitable clothing for the task, for example, footwear that provides a good grip.
  • Don't take unnecessary risks on the road. Traffic will find it difficult to stop quickly in icy conditions. When clearing ice and snow, wear visible clothing which helps traffic to see you.
  • If shovelling snow, think about where you're going to put it, so that you don't block people's paths or simply shift the problem elsewhere. Make sure it will not cause problems when it melts. Piling snow over gullies or drains may stop melting snow from draining away and cause it to refreeze.
  • Clear a small path down the middle of the area to be cleared first, so that you have a safe surface to walk on. You can then shovel from the centre to the sides.
  • Spread some grit on the area you have cleared to prevent ice forming. If necessary, ordinary table salt or dishwasher salt will work, but avoid spreading on plants or grass. Don't use too much;a tablespoon for each square metre cleared will be enough. It will take a little while to work.
  • If there is no salt available, then a little sand or ash can be used - it will not have the same de-icing properties but should offer more grip under foot.
  • Use the sun to your advantage. Removing the top layer of snow will allow the sun to melt any ice beneath; but you will need to cover any ice with salt to stop refreezing overnight.
  • Salt can be washed away by further snowfalls or rain and then refreeze, leaving black ice. If this happens, more salt should be used soon after the rain has stopped and before temperatures reach freezing. Particular care and attention should be given to steps and steep slopes - additional salt could be used in these areas to reduce the risk of slipping.
  • Try to sweep up any excess grit, sand or other substances used come the thaw - to prevent these from blocking drains.

There is no law that would stop you from clearing snow and ice on the pavement outside or on paths to your house (or any other building you are responsible for).

Provided you are careful, use common sense and don't do anything which would be likely to cause harm or distress to others, it's highly unlikely that you'll be found responsible for any accidents. In fact, people using areas affected by snow and ice have a responsibility to be careful themselves.