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Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Get ready for winter

As the weather gets colder, it is a good time to consider what winter weather preparations you, your family and community may need to make.

This page gives suggestions for the simple things you can do to help you and your family keep warm, healthy and safe through the cold weather – as well as saving money. Links are also provided to specific information and advice.

If the weather does become severe then check local information (particularly local council websites) for updates.

Protecting your home

  • Check that pipes are adequately lagged
  • Check that you have ordered your winter heating fuel
  • Check that you know where your stoptap is located
  • Find out if you are entitled to grants and subsidies for home heating and insulation

Health and well-being

Winter health advice from NHS Choices

  • Check you have had your flu jab if you are aged 65 or over, pregnant, have certain medical conditions, live in a residential or nursing home, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person
  • Check you have well-gripping shoes to prevent falls in cold weather; wear several layers of clothes to stay warm; and remain active in your home
  • Good hand hygiene can help prevent the spread of norovirus
  • Check you have had your heating and cooking appliances serviced – carbon monoxide is a killer
  • Check NHS choices for health guidance on winter ailments (flu, winter vomiting, cold temperatures)

Travelling

Visit the Highways Agency’s driving forecast

  • Check that your vehicle is ready for winter
  • Check that you know where to find traffic and travel information
  • Check local and national weather forecast and keep up to date with the latest warnings
  • Check that you have an emergency kit available in your car

Communities

  • Check you know who might need help in your community area in really bad weather
  • Sign up for weather warnings on the Met Office website
  • Check whether you are at risk of flooding and sign up for free flood warnings by visiting the Environment Agency’s website

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