THE festive season is almost upon us and it’s a busy time of year for many – but don’t forget it’s also important to be prepared and ready for winter weather too.

The Cowdenbeath-Lochgelly area was badly hit by the Beast From The East in March with some communities cut off for a day or two and snowdrifts up to eight feet deep in some Cowden streets.

While people will be hoping that there is no repeat of March's snowfall taking some sound advice can help people prepare for difficult weather conditions.

For instance before any severe weather hits, make sure you do these three things to get the important information you’ll need: Go online to - get the information you need earlier by signing up for personal emails or text alerts to find out about school or facility closures. There’s also plenty of advice on how to prepare whether at home, in the car and in your community.

* Follow Fife Council on Facebook and Twitter. All winter updates will appear as they happen, direct to your mobile phone or computer.

* Tune in to your local radio stations: Kingdom FM (95.2 & 96.1), Forth One (97.3) and Tay FM (96.4 &102.8) will have all the latest updates. Individual school closures are broadcast when the decision is made not to open. The head teacher will make the final decision whether or not to open the school during severe weather. This decision will be made with as much notice as possible.

If you need emergency help, speak to an advisor by calling 03451 550011 from Mon-Fri, 8am 'til 6pm (Option 3 for Transportation/Road Faults) or 03451 550099 between 6pm-8am on weekdays, at weekends & on public holidays.

For all information on winter in Fife go to

The council has also been busy planning ahead for winter and is committed to keeping the Kingdom moving despite the weather.

Convener – Economy Tourism. Strategic Planning & Transportation Committee, Councillor Altany Craik explained: “The council starts planning ahead for winter in the summer months to ensure that everything is in place.

"The council’s winter fleet includes 60 vehicles ready to treat Fife’s roads and 34 mini-tractors to clear and grit footpaths.

“We are currently taking delivery of 9,400 tonnes of salt, which will take Fife’s total stock to nearly 24,005 with additional deliveries during the winter period.

“When weather is extremely bad, we have access to up to 1,000 personnel to work on the road network and we also have arrangements for external resources, plant and equipment.

“By taking these steps now, we aim to keep Fife’s roads safe during the winter.”

He added: “As always during this period, key staff will be working 24 hours a day, seven days a week to keep our road network open. Of course, it’s also important for Fifers to make sure they know where to find the information they need ahead of any severe weather.”

Our picture shows Councillor Altany Craik, Convener – Economy Tourism. Strategic Planning & Transportation Committee, with new vehicles , and Transportation team members, including gritter drivers.