Why aren't we better prepared?

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Why aren't we better prepared?

Post by chaggle »

Article today in The Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... ?CMP=fb_gu

Simple answer - because it hardly ever happens and when it does, if people are sensible, it's a minor inconvenience for a few days.

Loads of jokes around - Finns breaking ice so they can go for a swim, Norwegians driving down roads with drifts as high as double decker buses, the Trans Siberian Railway pissing itself laughing at UK trains.

The very obvious point of course is that those conditions happen every year in those countries so they are prepared. Am I the only one who realises this?

Should we have a fleet of fire fighting aircraft like Spain just in case we get a forest fire?

And another thing - on the news last night a chap was spluttering with indignation because he had been stuck on a snowy road for 5 hours... "Its disgusting - nobody's doing anything to help us and we've had no information at all" .


Am I the only one who, for the last three days has been told very accurately and persistently that EXACTLY THIS was going to happen??

Anyway I love it - it's very pretty.

Rant over.
Don't blame me - I voted remain :con

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Location: Still somewhere in England

Re: Why aren't we better prepared?

Post by Tony.Williams »

Yes. To design our transport and other infrastructure to cope with such extreme weather would involve considerable extra costs, so for a once-a-decade problem for a few days, probably not worth it.

I agree that the weather forecasts have been quite accurate, although IMO they have rather downplayed the wind strength, except in terms of the wind chill factor. We have had winds in the 40-60mph bracket for the last couple of days (along with continuously sub-zero temperatures) and things won't calm down until tomorrow - that's enough for weather warnings for this alone, but the forecasters have been focusing on snow (of which we haven't had that much here).

Certain things could be done to minimise the road traffic hold-ups, though. The most frustrating sight on TV has been of vehicles spinning their wheels and sliding helplessly all over the place, when with suitable tyres they could have proceeded quite normally. These days, it isn't even necessary to buy a second set of wheels for winter tyres; all-season tyres are almost as good in the slippery stuff while being OK to use all year round. IMO manufacturers should fit these as standard (they are not particularly expensive), but I don't suppose there's much demand because hardly anyone knows about them.

This is a good web page on the subject (some of the comments are worth reading as well): https://www.autocar.co.uk/winter-tyre-tips Some figures which demonstrate the extra grip of both all-season and winter tyres, when tested on the same 2WD car in winter conditions:
0 to 40mph acceleration: winter tyres 11.7 sec; all-season tyres 14.7 sec; summer tyres 41.7 sec
40 to 0 mph braking: winter 156 feet; all-season 184 feet; summer 351 feet.

People look to 4WD vehicles (which involve considerable extra expense) but a 2WD car on all-season tyres will beat a 4WD on summer tyres in terms of all-round grip, very easily. 4WD does not help with braking distances at all.

Given that we live up in the hills and have to use steep country lanes to get home, we are prepared (just in case) with a 4WD car on all-season tyres. We prefer not to use it in these conditions unless we have to, though, because of the risks of getting stuck in massive traffic jams caused by vehicles on unsuitable tyres, or of having a vehicle slide into our car because it can't stop.

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