Winter weather preparedness

As the weather gets colder and conditions harsher, consider what you can do to stay warm at home;

The NHS advises that you:

  • Keep curtains drawn and doors closed to block out draughts.
  • Keep your home to a temperature of around 18 to 21C (64 to 70F). The recommended temperature for older people is 21C (70F) – (Help the Aged). If you can’t heat all the rooms you use, heat the living room throughout the day and the bedroom just before you go to sleep.
  • Do not block heaters and radiators by furniture or cover them by curtains.
  • Draught proof front doors with a curtain and fix draught proofing strips to windows and the bottom of external doors, but be sure to leave a small section around windows to let in fresh air.
  • Have regular hot drinks and at least one hot meal a day.
  • Keep as active as possible.
  • Wear several light layers of warm clothes rather that one chunky layer

Check on elderly and sick neighbours, friends and relatives as the cold weather is particularly dangerous for the elderly and infirm.

On the road

Driving conditions and conditions underfoot may be hazardous – consider there may be ice, black ice, snow / slush and excessive surface water.

Exercise caution when you are out and about, whether on foot or in the car.

Keep yourself up to date about travel and traffic conditions by listening to the local radio, local television stations or check the website links below before setting out on any journeys.

Remember to allow extra time for your journey. Use major roads as these will have been gritted. In the event of snow, ensure you clear your car windows fully to maximise your visibility. Clear snow from the roof of the car as this causes a hazard to yourself and other drivers as it falls onto the windscreen and subsequently the road.

Stopping distances are increased by about ten times in snow and ice so keep it slow and steady. Avoid harsh breaking and acceleration to limit the risk of skidding.

Keep in the car or take with you

  • Ice scraper and de-icer
  • Fully charged mobile phone
  • Flask with a hot drink
  • Torch
  • First aid kit
  • Tow rope
  • Blankets
  • Warm coat, boots, hats, scarves and gloves
  • Snow shovel
  • An old sack, rug or cardboard to put under the wheels if you get stuck
  • Inform someone you are making the journey and when you are expected to arrive