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Winter weather advice

Prepare in advance

Here’s a few hints and tips to get prepared for winter:

  • get your heating system and cooking appliances checked and keep your home well ventilated
  • fit draught proofing to seal any gaps around windows and doors
  • insulate your hot water cylinder and pipes
  • make sure you have adequate loft insulation. If you have cavity walls, make sure they are insulated too. Go to our Warmer Worcestershire pages for more information about home energy efficiency improvements
  • if you have an electric blanket, use it as instructed and get it tested every three years
    • never use a hot water bottle with an electric blanket
  • make sure you have spare medication in case you are unable to go out
  • if you are not on mains gas or electricity make sure you have a supply of heating oil, LPG or sold fuel so you do not run out in winter
  • stock up on tinned and frozen foods so you don’t have to go out too much when it’s cold or icy
  • make sure your shoes and slippers fit well and have good grips to avoid slips and trips
  • prepare your vehicle for winter, take a look at Met office advice on 6 simple checks to prepare your vehicle for winter and how to prepare a winter kit for your car

Keeping warm

  • heating your home to at least 18C in winter poses minimal risk to your health when you are wearing suitable clothing
    • if you can’t heat all the rooms you use, heat the living room during the day and your bedroom just before you go to sleep
    • make sure you are claiming all the financial help you are entitled to, take a look at our Cost of Living pages.
  • check if you are eligible for inclusion on the priority services register operated by your water and power supplier
  • wear layers to trap air. Clothes made from cotton, wool or fleecy fibres help to maintain body heat
  • draw your curtains at dusk and tuck behind radiators to help keep heat inside
  • make sure your radiators are not obstructed by furniture or curtains
  • exercise is good for you all year round and it can keep you warm in winter
    • when indoors, try not to sit still for more than an hour
    • get up and stretch your legs
    • if walking is a problem, try moving your arms and legs whilst sitting or wiggling your fingers and toes
  • cover yourself with a blanket or shawl if you are sitting for long periods, this will help keep you warm
    • put your feet up if you can; the air may be colder near the floor
  • do not use a gas cooker or oven to heat your home; it is inefficient and there is a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning which can kill
  • have regular hot drinks and hot meals including five daily portions of fruit and vegetables, food is a vital source of energy and helps to keep your body warm

NHS Choices Keep Warm, Keep Well site has useful information about keeping warm, winter fuel and more. 

Website: NHS Choices Keep Warm, Keep Well

Roads

Gritting

We do our best to keep the highways network running as effectively as we can during periods of ice and snow, primarily by gritting a number of key routes.

Go to the gritting routes map.

Report a gritting, ice or snow issue.

A primary network of 1,300km is treated in the first instance, with a secondary network treated when conditions require it and when resources allow.

Please plan your journeys carefully when there is a risk of ice or snow. For more information visit Highways England

Driving in Snow and Ice

The best place to find advice about driving in severe weather conditions is the government's Direct Gov website. You can find information about planning journeys, making your journey and getting help if things go wrong on the Safety in extreme weather page. You can also see information on Worcestershire roadworks and road closures.

Website: GOV.UK website - Driving in Adverse Weather Conditions

Bus Services

Buses and bus routes can easily be effected by bad weather. Services effected will be published on the website homepage as well as further information published in more details on the bus service travel news web page.

Go to the Buses section.

Being a good neighbour

Please check on elderly neighbours or relatives, and:

  • make sure they are keeping hydrated and regularly eating hot meals, perhaps make an extra portion for them next time you're preparing a meal
  • check that their cupboards are stocked, if not, offer to pick them up some groceries on your next visit to the supermarket
  • make sure their heating is in good working order, the temperature of a room that most of their time spent in should be at least 18C
  • advise them that exercise is good for them and helps to keep you warm
    • they should move at least once an hour. If walking is a problem, they should try to move their arms and legs whilst sitting or wiggling their fingers and toes
  • ensure they have a couple of thick blankets handy
  • give them your phone number and make sure it's in a handy place if they do need your help

Staying in the loop

The Cold Weather Alert operates in England from the 1 November to 31 March every year, in association with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). The alerts give you advanced warning of adverse weather conditions that could have a significant effect on your health and well-being, enabling you to take extra precautions to keep safe and well.

Website: Cold Weather Alerts - Met Office

The best way to get the latest information about how winter weather conditions are affecting Worcestershire and the area where you live is to tune in to local radio stations. The following frequencies are for FM radios:

  • BBC Hereford & Worcester 96,104, 104.4
  • Free Radio 102.8
  • Heart 100.7
  • Signal 107
  • Touch 102.2
  • Youthcomm 106.7

Save them to your radio pre-sets now if you can, or keep them handy for when you need them.

School closures

It's very rare that we ask all schools to close because of severe weather - the decision about whether to remain open or not is predominantly taken by each individual school. For that reason, it can vary greatly from one part of the county to another.

Our website will include an alert whenever schools are affected by severe weather, which will be updated regularly with the latest information that schools provide to us (look our for alerts at the top of the website).

Go directly to the school closures section.

Another source of up-to-date information about school closures is the radio, above is a list of local radio stations to tune into.

County Council alerts

Alerts will show at the top our website in the alerts bar whenever important information needs to be communicated. Our alerts will be used to provide information about severe weather warnings, roads affected by snow and ice, school closures, library closures, museums, waste & recycling collections and disruption to public transport, among other things.

Follow us on Twitter

Our main Twitter account also allows us to communicate important messages. During snow and ice, it's often referred to as the 'Gritter Twitter'. To follow us, either visit or search for @worcscc on your Twitter application.