Winter weather advice - General winter weather advice

During the winter months, it can become quite difficult for people to get around and keep warm. Here are a few tips on keeping warm, driving in the bad weather and helping your elderly neighbours.

Although extreme weather cannot always be predicted, listen to the weather forecasts regularly during the winter months and keep emergency supplies stocked up.

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.

Other tips for around the home:

  • If using a fireplace or stove, make sure that your chimney or flue has been inspected.
  • Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and test the batteries monthly.
  • Take a hot water bottle to bed or use an electric blanket (never use them together)

Food and Safety Checklist:

  • Drinking water – have bottled water on hand
  • Canned food, bread, dried fruits
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Baby food and formula (for families with babies)
  • Prescription Drugs and other medicine
  • First aid kit
  • Rock salt to melt ice on drives and walkways around your house
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Battery powered lamps or lanterns

Out and About

Only venture outside if it is absolutely essential. If you need to go out make sure you wear:

  • Several layers of loose fitting clothes (try to wear items with sleeves that are snug at the wrist)
  • A hat
  • Mittens/gloves
  • Water-resistant coat
  • Boots/shoes with a good grip
  • Good warm socks


Be cautious about travelling, keep listening to the radio, the television or check on the website for travel conditions and remember these tips.

Before travelling

  • Allow longer for your journey than you normally would
  • Use major roads if possible where gritting will have occurred
  • Clear your windows completely of snow and ice

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

On the road

  • Slow down and make gentle manoeuvres as stopping distances need to be increased by around 10 times the normal stopping distance in snow and ice.
  • Avoid harsh braking and acceleration.

What if you get stranded

Staying with your vehicle is often the safest thing to do, especially if a winter storm is occurring, which will create poor visibility or if roadways are ice covered.

  • Follow these steps in the case of getting stranded:
  • Move anything you need from the boot into the passenger area
  • Wrap your entire body, including your head, in extra clothing, blankets, or newspaper
  • Stay awake.
  • Run the motor (and heater) for about 10 minutes every hour. Open a window slightly to let in air. Make sure that snow is not blocking the exhaust pipe (this will reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning).
  • As you sit, move your arms and legs to help with circulation. This will also help you keep warmer.
  • Huddle with other people for warmth.



Last Updated on Wednesday, May 8, 2024