BRRRAVING WINTER: Hot tips to beat cold snap

Get Ready For Winter
Get Ready For Winter
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Met Office experts today launch Get Ready For Winter campaign, urging South Yorkshire folk to prepare themselves for winter's worst weather.

To support the launch, timely with today's snow alert, new research reveals:

When neighbours become good friends

When neighbours become good friends

23% of UK adults don’t do anything to prepare for winter weather

26% of people already check on elderly and vulnerable neighbours during the winter

40% of adults have been injured due to winter weather

91% underestimate just how cold British winters can be

Beware danger driving

Beware danger driving

South Yorkshire households are among millions left vulnerable by not making simple checks and changes ahead of the cold winter months.

The UK’s national weather service study reveals a quarter of UK adults don’t do anything at all to prepare for the weather changes and freezing temperatures, leaving millions of people vulnerable to accidents, and damage to their property and possessions.

Key checks and changes missed by millions include not checking that their pipes are insulated (76%), not having their boiler checked (66%), not topping up the anti-freeze in their car (62%), or not putting a blanket and warm clothes in their car (77%).

And while it happens every year, more than nine out of ten adults (91%) underestimate just how cold British winters can be with the average minimum temperature in the UK in January being a chilly one degree Celsius. This may explain why 22% of adults confess to being inadequately dressed for the weather at least once a week during the winter months.

Keep Calm winter warning

Keep Calm winter warning

And cold winters can lead to an increase in accidents. Four in ten UK adults (40%) have had a winter-related accident which has caused injury. Most of those have injured themselves falling over during the winter but some have been blown over or hit by flying objects in high winds. Over half of adults (51%) do not own winter footwear with extra grip for slippery and icy conditions or a shovel (56%) to clear snow - which may be contributing factors.

As well as looking after themselves, the Met Office urges the community to help elderly or more vulnerable family and neighbours during cold spells - 26% of Brits already set a good example by checking in on older or vulnerable neighbours during winter.

Younger people are far less likely to check on elderly neighbours – just 13% of 18-24 year olds do, compared to 33% of those aged 55-64. Regionally, those in London are the least likely to – just one in five (19%) take the time to check in on the vulnerable. Those in Wales, however, are the most neighbourly, with the figure rising to 39%.

Top ten tips:

Wear appropriate clothing: Low temperatures have an impact on our health, but there are other risks in winter including physical injuries from slips, trips and falls, ensure you wear appropriate clothing and footwear to avoid risk

Keep warm: Winter weather can have an impact on your health, try to heat at least one room in your home to 18°C

Boiler check: To avoid your boiler breaking down in freezing temperatures consider having it serviced

Lag your pipes: Ensure pipes in your house are insulated/lagged so they are not at risk of freezing/bursting

Check your roof: Visually check your roof for loose tiles in case of strong winds and storms

Avoid flying garden furniture: Check the stability of fences and/or trees on your property to prevent damage in strong winds and storms. Also remember that some everyday items in the garden can become 'missiles' in high winds

Travelling in rain: Roads will be more slippery than usual in wet weather, give yourself more time to react when approaching a hazard by increasing your following gap to at least four seconds from the moving traffic in front

Travelling in Snow: When driving in snow, accelerate gently, using low revs. You may need to take off in second gear to avoid skidding

Flood risk: Check your house is protected against flooding (Rivers or sea, reservoirs and surface water)

Stay ahead: Download the Met Office Weather app for the latest forecasts for your location
Met Office head of civil contingencies Melanie Harrowsmith said: “With winter looming, now is the key time to take some basic steps to ensure that you, your home, and your possessions are protected from whatever winter weather brings. A little preparation now can help your family stay safe - and avoid costly repairs or inconvenience that can result from winter-related issues and accidents.”

Communities minister Andrew Percy said: ""Severe winter weather can have a terrible impact on communities and wreak havoc on people's day-to-day lives. That is why we've provided almost £300 million to areas that were badly affected last year.

"I would also urge everyone to visit the Met Office's new website so they can help prepare appropriately for the wintery weather ahead."

‘Get Ready for Winter’ is a campaign run and implemented by the Met Office on behalf of a number of Government Departments with support from charities and other community based organisation. To find out more about how to prepare for winter, including handy tips, head to Met Office’s Get Ready For Winter website.