Worcestershire County Council is urging residents to make sure they are winter ready, as winter officially starts this weekend.
As the weather turns colder, it’s important you, the people you live with and your home, are all prepared.
This time of year contagious illnesses like flu and norovirus tend to spread, so ensuring you are protected against this can be is vital.
If you know you’re eligible for a free flu vaccine, please contact your local GP to ensure you receive it. Alternatively, if you would like the vaccine please visit your local pharmacy.
If you think you may have norovirus or any other gastro intestinal illness, stay at home, rest & take plenty of non-caffeinated drinks to avoid dehydration. Avoid spreading to others by keeping your hands clean too. Please stay at home for 48 hours post symptoms, staying off school, away from hospitals and care homes.
Dr. Kathryn Cobain, Interim Director of Public Health at Worcestershire County Council said: “Winter is firmly upon us now, so it’s very important that everyone is ready for winter and the challenges it can bring to us.
I would urge residents to ensure they have had all relevant health checks ahead of the winter, and make sure that all services and other annual home checks are up-to-date. It’s little things like this, which make staying warm and well this winter, a little bit easier.”
Loneliness is also extremely prevalent at this time of year, so please whenever possible check in on elderly friends, family and neighbours, whether it’s for a chat, a cup of tea, or just to make sure they are keeping warm and well, especially in periods of bad winter weather.
In terms of keeping your home healthy and running smoothly this winter, it’s important to make sure all appliances have been well maintained and services are up-to-date.
For example, it is advisable to always keep a torch handy and get your appliances serviced by a gas safe registered engineer to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Know your free emergency numbers - in a power cut call 105 or, for a gas emergency, dial 0800 111999.
While electricity supplies are very reliable, bad winter weather can cause damage and disruption. As the nights get colder and darker, the chance of experiencing severe weather becomes more likely. Storms, floods and other extreme conditions can cause damage to the electricity network and disrupt energy supplies.
Vulnerable households can also get extra support by signing up to the Priority Services Register.
The Priority Services Register is a free service provided by the company and is eligible for anyone who is of a pensionable age, disabled, has children under 5 years old or relies on medical equipment.
As part of the service, customers are kept informed as much as possible of power cuts affecting their home and are given special help, if needed, through the British Red Cross.
To find out more information or to register, please visit www.westernpower.co.uk/psr