Somerset County Council is urging people to take extra care and look out for others during the cold and icy weather as the Met Office issues a Level 3 cold weather alert for the South West.
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.
Trudi Grant, Director of Public Health, Somerset County Council, said: “We are encouraging residents to keep themselves safe and warm and help vulnerable neighbours. Prolonged periods of cold weather can be dangerous, especially for the very young, very old or those with chronic diseases.”
Councillor Anna Groskop, Cabinet Member, Somerset County Council with responsibility for Public 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 or 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.
“Remember to check on frail or older neighbours or relatives, especially those living alone or who have serious illnesses to make sure they are safe, warm and well.”
Top tips in colder weather:
• Take account of the weather when planning your activity over the following days. Anyone planning a journey in Somerset can now find all the information they need to avoid unnecessary delays in one place http://www.travelsomerset.co.uk
• Look out for friends and family who may be vulnerable to the cold, ensure their driveways and paths are clear and they have access to warm food and drinks, medication 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 18C, particularly if you are not mobile, have long term illness or are 65 or over.
Follow #winterready (for message alert levels 0 and 1) and #weatheraware (alert levels 2 to 4) on Twitter for winter health advice. You can visit http://www.nhs.uk/staywell for more advice on how to stay warm and well this winter.
The local Somerset NHS advises that A&E and 999 services are for life-threatening and serious conditions only. Your local high-street pharmacy can help with minor illnesses and complaints such as coughs, colds, flu, stomach upsets, aches and sprains.
If you feel it’s not a 999 emergency – but you need medical help fast, dial 111.
If you are concerned about your health or somebody you care for, advice can be obtained from NHS 111 or your local pharmacist.
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Notes to editors:
NHS 111 is a fast and easy way to get the right help, and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.
NHS Choices has full information on winter health including free flu vaccination eligibility or ask your GP surgery or Pharmacist http://www.nhs.uk/staywell
Public Health England leaflet “Keep Warm, Keep Well” offers information on cold weather benefits and help available. Read the ‘financial help to heat your home’ section in the leaflet http://www.gov.uk
Follow #winterready (for message alert levels 0 and 1) and #weatheraware (alert levels 2 to 4) on Twitter for winter health advice
For more information, please contact the Press Office on 01823 355020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.