Get Ready for Winter

Winter is nearly upon us. The clocks have gone back, Halloween has been and gone, and people are beginning to turn their attention towards the festivities of Christmas. Winter can see an increase in deaths, illnesses and accidents so it is important to be prepared.

The Government has updated its Cold Weather Plan for England a framework intended to protect the population from harm to health from cold weather. It aims to prevent the major avoidable effects on health during periods of cold weather in England by alerting people to the negative health effects of cold weather, and enabling them to prepare and respond appropriately. It recommends a series of steps to reduce the risks to health from cold weather for:

  •  the NHS, local authorities, social care, and other public agencies
  • professionals working with people at risk
  • individuals, local communities and voluntary groups.

The Cold Weather Plan has been published annually since 2011. The current plan continues to build on the experience of developing and improving the ability of the health and social care sector and its partners to deal with significant periods of cold weather. It can be accessed at:

Get Ready for Winter

In order to give practical and consistent messages to the public, ‘Get Ready for Winter’ is a campaign run and implemented by the Met Office on behalf of Cabinet Office. It joins up messages from Government and voluntary sector partners to encourage individuals, families and communities to think about winter preparations they can make to help them stay warm, healthy and safe.

Members of the public visiting the Met Office website for the latest weather forecast are able to access up-to-date expert advice from carefully selected organisations to ensure they can prepare for and respond to the weather, to stay safe and protect their property.

Among other things, it provides a Winter Readiness Checklist – 12 things you can do to prepare. It always pays to be prepared for winter. There are a few simple steps you can take to prepare yourself, your vehicle and your home or business. And is there anyone else you can help prepare for winter? Perhaps a neighbour, friend, elderly relative?

The headings for the checklist are:

1. Get your flu jab    

2. Top up anti-freeze screen wash

3. Check your tyres

4. Think about a winter kit for your car

5. Consider alternative commuting plans for severe weather

6. Check your heating – your home should be heated to at least 18 °C

7. Consider how you would access vital information if a storm takes out power and phonelines

8. Check your pipes are insulated

9. Know where your stoptap is

10. Think about what may be impacted by strong winds – guttering, pipes, roof tiles/slates, garden items

11. Check whether you are at risk of flooding

12. Freeze a loaf of bread and pint of milk for times of bad weather

So check out the Met Office website for further advice.

BBC News: