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Keeping well in Winter
Winter can be such a beautiful time of year, especially in such a picturesque location as Allerdale. The colder months also bring about risks associated with the weather. The information below is to raise awareness and to provide information on how you can be prepared and keep yourself and others safe.
Cold weather brings with it bugs and viruses, many of which can be safely managed yourself.
Keep warm and well this winter by taking steps to stay healthy, and prepare for potential illness, especially if you (or your loved ones) suffer from asthma, CoPD or other illnesses where sudden drops in temperature can affect health.
Call 111 if you are concerned and want medical advice.
Flu vaccinations are available free of charge to certain groups of individuals.
More information about flu jabs and who should get one can be found on the NHS website.
Keep Well, Keep Warm - information and financial support for the winter months
More information and maintining good health during winter and the financial help available for the over 60's, low-income families and people living with a disability can be found here.
Be prepared for bad weather
- If you live in a flood risk area you can monitor river levels and flood warnings online and also sign up to recieve flood alerts by text, phone or email from the government.
- Take preventative steps to protect your home and business ahead of the winter, your property is your responsibility.
- In case of bad weather or power cut, prepare a ‘grab bag’ of basic supplies including bottled water, medication, blankets, torches, batteries, key information and documents – don’t forget that your smartphone may not work in the event of a power cut.
- Prepare a Business continuity plan so your business is prepared for potential weather disruption
- Call 105 in the event of a power cut.
- Consider backup childcare plans in case of school closures
Elderly and vulnerable people
Keep an eye on elderly and vulnerable members of your community this winter: check on them in times of severe weather; discourage them from going outside when it’s icy and help them with errands/shopping if possible.
Information and support for elderly people can be found on the Age UK West Cumbria website.
Cold weather affects the health of the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions.
Snow and ice can result in slips and falls, and cold temperatures can affect circulation and breathing-related issues, which can be fatal.
Keep an eye on those who might be vulnerable and ensure they are well looked after and warm.
If you are concerned about the health of an elderly or vulnerable person call NHS 111.
Check weather information before travel. Being informed is the best way to minimise disruption to your plans and to know if you might have to avoid travelling.
Driving in hazardous conditions can be challenging, familiarise yourself with our dedicated pages on driving in the rain, snow and ice.
Keep up to date with vehicle maintenance during the winter. Your vehicle is your responsibility. Have it serviced and check it before taking long journeys.
When travelling – by road or rail - in potentially bad weather, prepare for the unexpected by packing a survival kit should you be stranded somewhere.
Top ten checklist for winter
1. Get your flu jab - find out about flu vaccinations and those at higher risk on the NHS website.
2. Check your vehicle - Top up anti-freeze screen wash, check your tyres and think about winter kit for your car. Further advice about preparing your vehicle for winter can be found here.
3. Plan your commute- Consider alternative commuting plans for severe weather and childcare plans if schools are closed.
4. Check your heating – your home should be heated to at least 18 °C
5. Prepare for storms - Consider how you would access vital information if a storm takes out power and phonelines
6. Prepare- Think about what may be impacted by strong winds or floods – garden items, guttering, pipes, roof tiles/slates, items stored on your ground floor.
7. Check your pipes are insulated and know where your stoptap is. Guidance on lagging pipes can be found on the United Utilities website here.
8. Supplies- Make sure you have basic supplies in case you have to leave home quickly or your power and water are disrupted.
9. Share this checklist with your neighbours, see if they have any other tips and tell them if you can help in severe weather.
10. Help - Find out what else you can do to help your community prepare for severe weather on the government website here.