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;
- 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.
- 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.
- Flu vaccination is available every year on the NHS to help protect adults and children at risk of flu and its complications. For more information visit NHS Choices.
You can also check out the useful winter advice from the Met Office on their ‘Get Ready for Winter’ page.
Being prepared at home
Purchase heating oil supplies
- Householders who rely on heating oil are urged to stock up in the autumn period when prices tend to be lower, and when suppliers are better able to deliver more quickly. For more information, visit Citizens Advice Bureau: Buy heating oil early to save on fuel costs .
- If 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.
- More information about creating or joining a community buying group can be found at Citizens Advice Bureau: oil clubs information .
- Details of oil-buying groups can be found at 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 make their homes warmer, more comfortable and cheaper to heat. For more information go to 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, 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 .
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 result. For helpful information on how to keep healthy and warm in your homes for less, 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 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.
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.
- You can sign up on the energy companies Priority Services Register (PSR) for extra care in a power cut at northernpowergrid.com/priority
Other useful weather and flooding links
- Public Health England: Cold Weather Plan
‘Keep Warm Keep Well’ leaflet - gives advice on staying well in cold weather, covering issues such as financial help, healthy lifestyle, flu jabs and heating.
- Met Office: get ready for winter
- Winter weather UK government response latest news
- Flooding: What you need to know
- Flooding: Clean up staying safe and healthy [PDF 325KB]
- Flooding: How to clean up your home safely
- Eye on Calderdale website.
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
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 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 .
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.