There are some simple steps to getting ready for winter weather. Planning ahead can really help you and your family when the cold sets in.
The best way to get through winter is to keep warm and to follow a healthy lifestyle:
- a balanced diet will help keep you warm and healthy in the winter
- wearing the right kind of clothes can help keep you much warmer
- staying active is good for your health
The Department of Health has issued a guide 'Keep Warm - Keep Well' which offers advice on how to keep yourself warm. The leaflet also includes details for organisations offering practical solutions, financial assistance, and safety advice.
Top tips for staying healthy in winter
- Get your flu jab. If you’d prefer not to be laid low for a week or two, a flu jab is essential. It’s even more important to get it if:
- you’re aged 65 or over
- you’re pregnant
- you have certain medical conditions
- you are immunocompromised
- are a carer
- live in a residential home
- Keep warm. Maintain your heating to the right temperature. Your bedroom should be at 18°C/65°F and the room you use in the day should be 21°C/70°F. Use room thermostats or other heating controls if you have them. Have a room thermometer so you can monitor the temperature indoors.
- Look after yourself and check on older neighbours or relatives to make sure they are safe, warm and well. Layer your clothing and wear shoes with a good grip if you need to go outside.
- Food is a vital source of energy which helps to keep your body warm. Try to make sure that you have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day and keep active in the home if you can.
- Get financial support. There are grants, benefits and sources of advice available to make your home more energy efficient, improve your heating or help with bills. You should claim all the benefits you are entitled to and to access these before winter sets in.
- Have your heating and cooking appliances checked for carbon monoxide leaks, and fit a carbon monoxide alarm. Make sure that flues and chimneys are swept and checked for blockages and ventilation points are not blocked. If you use heating oil, LPG or wood products as the main heating source, make sure that you have sufficient supply to avoid running out in winter.
Before the onset of cold weather:
- check that your home is adequately insured and that everything that you want to be covered is covered.
- make sure your property is in good order.
- learn how and where to turn off your water, electricity and gas supplies.
- collect and maintain a 'home emergency pack'.
Home emergency pack
Keep enough of the following in your house to last all of you at least two days:
- Lighting (torch/candles) and spare source of power (batteries for example)
- Cooking equipment (including tin opener, utensils and cutlery)
- Drink (cans of juice, bottled water)
- Long life food (check use-by dates and refresh supplies regularly)
- Portable radio and spare batteries
- Dry clothing
- Medication (including baby items).
If you discover or experience an emergency situation dial 999
When you dial 999 the first person to answer will be an operator who will ask what emergency service you require. They will ask for your telephone number because if your line is cut or you are unable to continue the call, the operator can trace where you are and send assistance. Please do not ring the emergency services unless it is a genuine 999 matter.
When severe weather is forecast:
- check the TV news, radio, Met Office website and newspapers for the latest information and early warnings
- stock up on essentials such as the suggested home emergency pack
- be a good neighbour and pass on warnings to those who may have missed the warnings, and check on the elderly and infirm.
During severe weather:
- check the TV, radio, Met Office website and newspapers for the latest information
- 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
- Wrap up warm in several thin layers
- conserve energy by using one room and maintaining its temperature at 15° - 20° Celsius (60° - 70° Fahrenheit)
- have at least one hot meal a day
- fill some clean containers with fresh water in case supply fails.
Our winter programme of help for vulnerable people
Each year we work with partners to deliver the City Council's Stay Warm and Healthy in Derby programme to try and help vulnerable people to keep warm at home through the cold winter months. Download the Stay warm and healthy in Derby leaflet to find out about the type of support and assistance we offer.