THE big freeze is set to hit next week but Wigan Council and the borough’s retailers are all prepared for the disruptive weather.
The gritters are oiled and tons of grit are in storage ready to make Wigan’s roads safer when the freezing temperatures arrive.
Local retailers are also stocking up on vital equipment and clothing Wiganers might need to keep safe.
Kirsty Williams, assistant manager of Yeoman’s Leisure in Appley Bridge, said: “We have a massive amount of stock ready for when the snow hits. Last year, snow grips sold really well so we have got them back in again but in three different styles.
“We have everything people need to keep safe and warm this winter, from thermal clothing to hats and scarves to the all important wellington boots for adults and children. We also stock important equipment that people should stock in their car for when they go on long journeys in the snow, such as blankets, foil blankets, torches and waterproof clothing.
“We will also be getting sledges in stock for when the snow hits, but Golden Days Garden Centre where we are situated, have many sledges in stock now,.”
Wigan Council’s Deputy Leader Councillor David Molyneux said: “Wigan Council is ready for winter and is offering help to ensure borough residents are ready too. Residents eligible for the ‘Get Me Toasty’ and ‘Winter Fuel allowance’ schemes can save money on their bills and enjoy a warmer winter.”
The borough’s schools hope to remain open throughout the freezing temperatures. A spokesman for Rose Bridge High School said: “In the event of extreme weather parents and carers should check the school website for up to date information on the opening of the school. In all cases every effort is made to open school as normal but in all cases the health and safety of our students, staff and visitors is our first concern
“Plans are already in place in case of inclement weather to ensure that staff and students would be able to move around the schools buildings safely and that normal lessons can continue.
“Like many schools across Wigan in December 2010, the decision was reluctantly taken to not open school following the heavy snow for Health and Safety reasons.”
Drivers are urged to have a full tank of petrol and a fully charged mobile phone, inform people at your destination when you expect to arrive and always have a torch shovel and flask for a hot drink.
And the elderly are advised to make sure to warm a living room throughout the day and a bedroom before going to bed.