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

Calderdale Council is a member of the West Yorkshire Resilience Forum. They urge people to take some steps to lower the risk of ill-health, accident or injury in winter months.

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

Personal health and safety

Keep Warm

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

Keep Well

  • If you have prescription medicines make sure you have a stock in. Do not forget COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) inhalers or asthma preventer inhalers, particularly for children.
  • Do not go outside in severe weather unless you have 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. For more about this, visit: AgeUK: spread the warmth .
  • Have a flu jab! Free flu jabs are available for elderly and vulnerable people, which includes children aged two, three or four. For more about this, see: Flu or visit: NHS Choices .

You can also check the useful winter advice from the Met Office, visit: ‘Get Ready for Winter’ .

Being prepared at home

Purchase heating oil supplies

  • Householders who rely on heating oil are urged to stock up in the autumn period. Prices tend to be lower and suppliers can deliver quicker. For more on this, please visit: Citizens Advice Bureau: Buy heating oil early to save on fuel costs .
  • Do you know anyone who uses heating oil? Please pass this information on to assist them in being prepared in the event of another severe winter.
  • For details of oil-buying groups, visit: ACRE: Action with Communities in Rural England .
  • The Council's Housing Energy Action team (HEAT) can help owner occupiers and tenants in privately rented properties. If you need to make your home warmer, more comfortable and cheaper to heat, please see: Energy efficiency .

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! Deliveries may not be able to get through for several days if the worst snow hits.
  • Listen to the weather forecasts, or visit: Met Office: UK: Severe weather warnings .

Affordable warmth

Affordable warmth is a household’s ability to heat their home to a minimum standard. This is recommended to be 18 - 21oC, without incurring fuel debt as a result. For help on how to keep healthy and warm in your homes for less, please see: Bertie’s Top Tips .

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, like the NHS 111 service. Just phone: 111.
  • There is a national power cuts phone number you can call. It gets you through to the control room of the electricity distribution company wherever you happen to be calling from. Just phone: 105.

  • Keep up with weather warnings! Listen to local radio or visit: Met Office (website). You can also see 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. Cold weather also increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes, lung illnesses, flu, hypothermia and other diseases. So, it is never too soon to get prepared.

NHS Stay Well This Winter, gives more information on what you can do to stay well. Keep warm, keep well gives lots of valuable advice on how to protect your health in the cold. This includes advice on where to go for help - if you are not sure which NHS service you need, call: 111. An adviser will ask you questions to assess your symptoms. They will then give you advice, or direct you to the best service in your area.

PHE’s Winter Health Watch - Public Health England information on winter health surveillance. This includes syndromic, influenza, norovirus and mortality surveillance reports.

Mental health

In winter, many more people suffer from depression or a condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This is a kind of depression that tends to occur in the winter months. Books on Prescription is a national scheme to help people suffering from mild to moderate mental health conditions. It enables you to manage your own health and well-being through recommended self-help books. For more about this, please see: Health and Reading Well .

If you are you feeling in low mood, anxious or stressed, Insight Healthcare - Talking Therapies can help! They are funded by the NHS and give free talking therapy services across the country. The therapists have a broad range of specialist skills to provide the best support for your particular needs.

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Support from the Council


For more about when and where the Council grits, please read: PDFWinter Factsheet [PDF 888KB] 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 containers out, we will get to them as soon as it is safe for our vehicles and crews. Please remember that roads may be safe and accessible for your car, but not for larger refuse or recycling vehicles. Keep an eye on our Emergencies page for updates during bad weather. We can send you emails to remind you when your bin is due to be collected. For more about this, see: Collection day finder .

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 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.

See also