Your essential guide to staying safe and warm this winter.

Winter is a time when people are at more risk of injury or illness. By thinking ahead you can reduce risk and be prepared should the cold weather hit suddenly.

This guide is meant to remind you of the small things you can do now to prepare for severe weather in the coming months.

Download our stay winter wise booklet

Be prepared for winter

The West Yorkshire Resilience Forum, of which Calderdale Council is a member, urges people to take a few simple steps which could reduce the risk of ill-health, accident or injury in the coming months.

Their advice is to follow these simple steps to be prepared:

Personal health and safety

Have a flu jab - free flu jabs are available for elderly and vulnerable people and this includes children aged two, three or four. For more information see Flu;

Keep Warm

  • Wear layers of clothes to trap warm air and wrap up warm in bed.
  • Eat at least one hot meal a day and drink plenty of non-alcoholic drinks, particularly hot drinks like tea, coffee or hot squash.
  • Heat your home, or at least the rooms you use often, to between 18 and 21 degrees Celsius.

Keep Well

  • If you have prescription medicines make sure you have a stock in. Don’t forget COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) inhalers or asthma preventer inhalers, particularly for children. 
    Don’t go outside in severe weather unless you need to; instead try to keep active indoors. If you do need to go out, wrap up warm and wear sturdy, non-slip footwear
  • Keep an eye on elderly friends and neighbours and get more information: AgeUK: spread the warmth.
  • West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service  also have a winter campaign which focuses on looking out for elderly people.

Being prepared at home

Purchase heating oil supplies

Food and other preparations

  • Keep food cupboards well stocked.
  • Make sure you have enough money on your electricity and gas meters and keep a torch somewhere handy.
  • As far as possible stock up on animal feed, as deliveries may not be able to get through for several days should the worst snow hit.
  • Listen to the weather forecasts: Met Office: UK: Severe weather warnings

Follow the ‘snow code’

When clearing snow follow these simple tips to make sure you clear snow and ice safely: Met Office: The Snow Code.

Keep in touch

  • Make a note of important phone numbers such as NHS 111 Service on 111;
  • 105 is a national power cuts number which gets you through to the control room of the electricity distribution company wherever you happen to be calling from.

  • Keep up to date on weather warnings by listening to the local radio, visiting the Met Office website or logging on to their Twitter, Facebook and other social networks.

Staying safe on the roads

  • Sometimes it's not safe to make a journey, so stay at home. If you have to travel, be prepared for all weather conditions and plan your route accordingly. Get your vehicle serviced and carry an emergency kit in the boot. For more information go to Driving through ice and snow.
  • Visibility is reduced at night or in snowy or freezing fog conditions so pedestrians are advised to wear high visibility clothing. Consider carrying a torch. For lots of useful information on winter driving and home safety visit the ROSPA website.
  • When cycling in the winter months it is important to stay safe, be bright, be seen, maintain your bike and keep warm. For more information check out our winter cycle tips

Stay well this winter

During the winter, people are at more risk of injury or illness, and cold weather increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes, lung illnesses, flu, hypothermia and other diseases. So it is never too soon to get prepared.

Public Heath England has launched a Stay Well This Winter Campaign and more details can be found on their website. This includes advice on where to go for help - if you’re not sure which NHS service you need, call 111. An adviser will ask you questions to assess your symptoms and then give you the advice you need, or direct you straightaway to the best service for you in your area.

Mental health

In winter, many more people suffer from depression or a condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder. This is a kind of depression which tends to occur in the winter months. Reading Well: Books on Prescription is a national scheme that aims to enable people who are suffering from mild to moderate mental health conditions to manage their own health and well-being through recommended self-help books. Find out more on the Calderdale library website.

Are you feeling low, anxious, or stressed? Insight Healthcare can help. They are funded by the NHS and provide free talking therapy services across the country, delivered by therapists with a broad range of specialist skills, allowing us to provide the best support for your particular needs.

Support from the Council

Gritting

For more information on when and where the Council grit, download our PDFWinter Factsheet [PDF 1245KB] or see Winter service and gritting.

Calderdale Council try to keep the most important roads safe and as free as possible from wintry hazards. To do this we have 22 precautionary gritting routes. The routes cover over 600kms (around 67%) of the Calderdale road network. It is impossible for the gritters to spread salt on every road. Over 600 salt bins are provided at key points throughout the district for use by residents, motorists and pedestrians.

Waste and recycling

In severe weather your waste and recycling collections may be affected. Please leave your containers out and we will get to them as soon as possible when access is safe for our vehicles and crews. Please remember that some roads which are accessible for your car are not always safe for a large refuse or recycling vehicle. Keep an eye on our Emergencies page for updates during bad weather. Remember we can send you emails to remind you when your bin is due to be collected. Find out more from our Waste and recycling:collection day finder [External link] .

School and college closures

Calderdale Council’s website has an area where educational establishments are able to report closures or information relating to closures due to snow and ice. Individual schools are responsible for updating this information. See Emergency education closures.

Financial support

Did you know that there are grants, benefits and sources of advice available to make your home more energy efficient, improve your heating or help with bills. It is worthwhile claiming all the benefits you are entitled to and to access these before winter sets in.