Winter Information Centre - Advice in the event of severe weather

Being prepared

Before severe weather arrives it may be a good idea to prepare an emergency kit. This could include torches and candles; spare batteries; a portable radio; canned food and bottled water; utensils including a can-opener; blankets; warm clothes, and medication.

Make sure you know how to switch off your water, electricity and gas supply.

Check that you are insured for all valuable items.

Make sure you have a list of emergency numbers if you need to call for assistance or advice during cold weather.

In the event of severe weather

Check the TV, radio, and newspapers for the latest information and early warnings.

Make essential journeys only. If you must travel, make sure that you are fully prepared for all events and conditions. Obtain a weather forecast and if possible determine the road conditions for the journey you are going to take.

Offer assistance to less able neighbours. Maintain regular contact with vulnerable people and neighbours you know to be at risk in cold weather.

Wrap up warm in several thin layers.

Conserve energy by using one room and maintaining the temperature at 15º/20º Celsius (60º/70º Fahrenheit).

Have at least one hot meal a day.

Fill some clean containers with fresh water in case supply fails.

If you are seriously concerned about your own health or that of others, alert the emergency services. If it is not a 999 (life threatening) emergency, you should call the NHS on 111, a free to call number (mobiles and landlines). The 111 service provides initial assessment and directs people to the right local service.

Clear pavements of ice or snow if you are able to do so safely. Essential guidance is available here.