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Respect the elements

Winter weather can be severe and can quickly disrupt our daily lives. Being aware and better prepared can help you, your family and your community to stay safe, warm and healthy during the winter months. To help you get ready for wGet ready for Winter logointer, we have produced some useful advice that should see you through the rain, hail and snow.


The Government has launched its own ‘Get Ready for Winter’ initiative, hosted by the Met Office. This has involved a number of Government Departments, Industry Bodies and Voluntary Sector partners, including the British Red Cross, working together to provide top tips on keeping you and your families warm, healthy and safe through the cold winter.


Plan your journey

During wintry weather conditions:-

  • Ask yourself - is your journey really necessary?
  • Check the local and national weather forecasts. The Met Office can keep you up to date with severe weather warnings as well as practical advice on what to do and how to keep safe during severe weather
  • Listen to local and national radio for travel information
  • Tell someone at your destination what time you expect to arrive
  • Make sure you are equipped with warm clothes, food, boots and a torch. In snowy conditions, take a space
  • Clear your windows and mirrors before you set out and carry a screen scraper and de-icer
  • Make sure you have enough fuel for your journey before you set out
  • Be prepared to take more time over your journey

If you get into trouble

  • Do not use a mobile phone while driving. Stop somewhere safe or ask a passenger to make a call
  • On a motorway, it is best to use a roadside emergency telephone because the breakdown/Emergency Services will be able to locate you easily.  If you have to use a mobile phone, make sure you know your location from the numbers on the marker posts on the side of the hard shoulder
  • Abandoned vehicles can hold up rescue vehicles and snowploughs.  To ensure that the road is cleared as quickly as possible, stay with your vehicle until help arrives
  • If you have to leave your vehicle to get help, make sure other drivers can see you and you know where you are going

Vehicle condition

In winter, it is even more important to check your vehicle is well maintained and serviced.

  • Keep the lights, windows and mirrors clean and free from ice and snow

  • Keep your battery fully charged

  • Add anti-freeze to the radiator and winter additive to the windscreen and washer bottles

  • Make sure wipers and lights are in good condition

  • Check that the tyres have plenty of tread depth and are maintained at the correct pressure

Adjust your driving to the conditions

  • Hail, heavy snow and rain reduce visibility
  • Use dipped headlights and reduce your speed


  • Wear appropriate clothing
  • Be both warm and visible
  • Carry a torch if required
  • Be aware of icy pavements. If you have to walk on a road, face oncoming vehicles so you can react to the traffic
  • Watch out for objects buried in the snow which might trip you up or cause you injury
  • Let someone know where you are going and what time you will be back
  • If you carry a mobile phone, check that the battery is charged

Keep Warm, Keep Well

The Department of Health has launched its annual Keep Warm, Keep Well

campaign that offers advice on how to stay warm and healthy during the winter months. In addition, there is advice on the financial and practical help that is available.

Keep Warm and Feel Healthier

Low household temperatures increase the risk of cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses and can also affect mental health, so maintaining a warm home is an important way of keeping you and your family healthy.

For more information please see the Energy Action & Health pages of this website and see our Keep Warm and Healthy this Winter Leaflet.

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