Somerset County Council and Public Health England are asking people to take extra care and look out for vulnerable members of the community in the icy cold weather after the Met Office announced a Level 3 Cold Weather Alert.
The alert is triggered when there is 90% probability of severe cold weather and icy conditions or snow over the next few days which could increase the health risks to vulnerable people and disrupt the delivery of services.
Councillor Anna Groskop, Cabinet Member with responsibility for health said: “Remember to check weather forecasts and plan your day around them. Take extra care if outside to prevent any accidental slips on icy and snowy pavements.
“It is crucial people keep warm, indoors and outdoors, this advice is particularly important if you’re 65 or over, have long term health conditions and for young children. Wear lots of thin layers, eat warm food regularly and remember that moving about will help keep you warm.
“Make sure you have all the food you need for warm meals and visit your pharmacist at the first sign of illness for advice and medicines.
“If you have to go out, dress warmly and wear non-slip shoes to limit any falls. Also be sure to tell someone where you are going and an expected time when you will return. If you have a mobile phone, try to carry this with you, charged, so you can contact someone in case of an emergency.”
Top tips to prepare for colder weather:
* Look out for friends and family who may be vulnerable to the cold and ensure they have access to warm food, drinks and are managing to heat their homes adequately.
* Remember to visit your Pharmacist at the first sign of illness and stock up on sufficient necessary medicines.
* Try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18°C, particularly if you are not mobile, have long term illness or are 65 or over.
* Stay tuned for weather forecasts and take the weather into account when planning your activity over the following days.
* Avoid exposing yourself to cold or icy outdoor conditions if you are at a higher risk of cold related illness or falls.
* Discuss with friends and neighbours about any snow or ice in front of your house and public walkways nearby, if unable to do so yourself.
Follow #winterready (for message alert levels 0 and 1) and #weatheraware (alert levels 2 to 4) on Twitter for winter health advice.
Or visit http://www.nhs.uk/staywell for more advice on how to stay warm and well this winter.
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