Stock piling salt or monging scares?

When the Automobile Association first questioned whether the local authorities had laid up enough salt and grit for the winter the Local Authorities’ Association accused the AA of “scaremongering”.  It is now clear, as I suspected at the time, that the AA were not monging scares but had actually voiced a concern for which there was, unfortunately, every foundation. Now we find that Local Authorities are beginning to ration salt, because of the prolongation of the very cold weather which has lasted, on and off, three whole weeks.

If local authorities do not stock pile enough salt (and the stuff is hardly expensive) then even if the stockpile is only needed every thirty years then there are many benefits. Schools do not have to close; people can get to work and businesses can survive, not so many people have to die in road accidents in snowy weather and life is better all round.

It now seems that the United Kingdom bought too flu vaccine and the flu when it reached us did not kill many people and that it generally arrived in a much milder form than expected. Nevertheless, the Government, fearing millions of deaths on the best advice available, bought millions of doses of vaccine, which remain unused. They did the right thing; there is no point in taking risks with the lives of millions of people.

I cannot understand why this principle, of not taking the risk, did not apply to the much cheaper stockpiling of salt and grit.

I am writing this blog in Bavaria. The weather is around minus 4 Celsius and there are snow showers and flurries. The roads and gritted and salted and most people have cleared the pavement in front of their homes. Although most people driver more slowly in these conditions all the roads that I have seen are open, even the small ones. If they can do it in Germany we can also do it in Britain, even though our snows are much less frequent and much less severe.