Get Ready For Winter

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Over the next few weeks, K & M Communities would like to share with you some advice issued by our partners. This week we’re going to start with advice from the Met Office;

Met Office Weather Ready

The Met Office run an annual public information campaign which is aimed at raising awareness of, and encouraging the public to think about, risks associated with winter weather and the steps they could take to be better prepared.

Since 2011 the ‘Get Ready for Winter’ campaign has been run and implemented by the Met office and Cabinet Office and supported by a range of partner organisations with the same aim – of protecting life and wellbeing, especially during the winter months.

A review held after the 17/18 winter (‘Get Ready for Winter’) campaign indicated the need for some changes to be made, starting with the 18/19 campaign. In brief, the following was agreed upon:

* With snow in March 2018, the name ‘Get Ready for Winter’ felt less appropriate than ever. With this in mind, the name and remit of the campaign will change and will be year-round with a ‘launch’ during the Autumn and increased activity leading up to periods of severe weather.

* Previous campaigns have been purely digital. To reach the vulnerable we need to expand the non-digital content, using partners as the conduit for this information.

 Key messages to be shared

* Prepare your property and vehicle ahead of winter, and take responsibility for your own safety.

* Be aware of the latest weather forecasts and warnings from the Met Office and be prepared to alter your plans in times of severe weather. Listen to local radio for updates during times of bad weather.

* Check on the elderly and more vulnerable in your community and check on the safety of your neighbours in the case of an emergency.

Help communities

* Keep an eye on vulnerable members of your community this winter: check on them in times of severe weather; discourage them from going outside when it’s icy; help them with errands/shopping if possible.

* 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.

Keep warm, keep well

* 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.

Protect your home and business

* Be prepared for bad weather, especially if you are at risk of flooding.

* 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

Travel advice

* 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.

Step winter readiness checklist

1. Get your flu jab

2. Top up anti-freeze screen wash, check your tyres and think about winter kit for your car.

3. 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. Consider how you would access vital information if a storm takes out power and phonelines

6. 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.

8. 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. Find out what else you can do to help your community prepare for severe weather. ]

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