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Cold weather advice and tips

Winter weather can be unpredictable, and it can stop us from getting out and about sometimes. It’s worth making sure you’re prepared if we're told to expect severe weather, especially winter storms, ice or snow.


Simple steps to combat cold weather in the UK

  1. Keep an eye on the weather forecast. Visit the Met Office website for up-to-date weather forecasts.
  2. If bad weather is forecast, make sure you have everything you need. Check you've got enough medication and food in case it's harder to leave the house. A bottle of water could be handy if the water supply is interrupted.
  3. Have torches handy around the home in case of a power cut. It's a good idea to keep some spare batteries somewhere convenient, too.
  4. Keep emergency numbers nearby. Call 105 in the event of a power cut – you can report a power cut and get information and advice if there's one in your area. You can also register with your supplier's Priority Services Register so they'll call you in the event of a power cut.
  5. Take extra care if the ground is slippery. Wear shoes with good grip and consider keeping salt and sand mixture handy to grit paths. You could ask your neighbours for help to clear paths or driveways in bad weather.
  6. Plan ahead when driving. Try to avoid going out in the car in bad weather if possible, and make sure you follow advice on driving conditions near you. If you do need to go out, pack up the following kit in case you get stuck: blankets, a bottle of water or flask of hot drink, some snacks, a shovel, a de-icer or scraper, a mobile phone and charger.

Forecasts from the Met Office

The Met Office has up-to-date forecasts in your area. Visit their website or download their app you find out your local weather forecast quickly and easily.

Keep well this winter

The cold and gloomy winter weather can affect our health and mood. But there are lots of simple and practical ways to make the winter months a bit easier. See our advice on how to stay warm and well this winter for more information.

Winter help and advice


Look out for cold weather alerts in England

The Met Office's cold weather alerts are a way of warning about cold weather conditions in advance – so you can take extra precautions to keep safe and well. They operate in England from November 1 to March 31 every year, in association with the UK Health Security Agency.

The cold weather alerts are issued by the Met Office when the winter weather is most likely to significantly impact people's health. This means when one of the following happens:

  • The average temperature falls below 2°C for 48 hours or longer.
  • There's heavy snow and/or widespread ice.

You can find the alerts on the  and the weather warnings on their and on TV and radio. 

If you're concerned about someone's health or safety, call 111 for health advice, or in an emergency call 999.

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We offer support through our free advice line on 0800 678 1602. Lines are open 8am-7pm, 365 days a year. We also have specialist advisers at over 120 local ϲֱ쿪s.

The development of this information was supported by an educational grant from Seqirus.

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Last updated: Nov 02 2023

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