Take extra care and look out for others during the cold and icy weather, Somerset County Council urges as the Met Office issues a Level 3 cold weather alert for the South West.
The alert is triggered when there is a 99% probability of severe cold weather/icy conditions/heavy 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 at 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 Christine Lawrence, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing at Somerset County Council, 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 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 and drinks and are managing to heat their homes adequately.
- Try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18C, particularly if you are not mobile, have long term illness or are 65 or over.
- Stay tuned for weather forecasts, ensure you are stocked with food and medications in advance, arrange deliveries or ask a friend to help.
- Take weather into account when planning your activity over the coming days.
- If eligible, seek entitlements and benefits such as Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments, which are available to some.
- If you meet the criteria, register for priority service with your energy and water suppliers.
- 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 clearing snow and ice from in front of your house and public walkways nearby.
Follow #winterready (for message alert levels 0 and 1) and #weatheraware (alert levels 2 to 4) on Twitter for winter health advice.
Cold weather payments visit www.gov.uk/cold-weather-payment