Prepare your home for snow.
During the winter months try to keep a stock of two weeks food and medication in the house so that you aren’t forced to venture out when conditions are bad.
Clean and clear paths in autumn and through the winter months so snow doesn’t bury something you might trip over, if snow is forecast place a broom or spade just outside the back door in case you need to clear your path.
Get your boiler and heating system serviced before bad weather sets in so you are not caught out without heating.
Keep a supply of salt or grit at home. Large bags of salt from the supermarket cost about £1 and are great for sprinkling on icy steps.
Power cuts are common during snowy and stormy weather so power cut proof yourself by keeping a Power Cut Bag in an easy to locate place. Pack it with a blanket, hat, gloves, scarf, torch and thick socks so that if you are without heat you’ll stay warm. Add any essentials that you might need such as medication and a snack too so you don’t have to rummage around in cupboards in the dark.
You can charge up a mobile phone power bank (a small battery pack that costs about £10-£15 that you charge up and then use to charge your phone form) and keep it in your bag so you’ll always have your phone fully charged. It’s also a good idea to have a contact sheet with your electricity providers details and other emergency contacts in it. Put the Power Cut Phone Number of 105 in your phone and on your contact sheet to call so you know when the power is expected back on, if you are registered as a Priority Customer with your supplier, you can ask if they are sending assistance to you
Another great item to keep in your Power Cut Bag are reusable snap hand warmer gel packs or single-use heat patches which can stay warm for hours.
If you have a gas hob with electric ignition, keep a box of matches in the house so you can still light it to cook yourself a hot meal or make a hot drink.
Have a plan for what to do if your your heating breaks down. Do you have breakdown repair cover? If not, plan now who you would call so you don’t have to pay over the odds for an emergency call out from a company you don’t know. While you wait for a repair close your curtains, try not to open doors and windows and wrap up warm before you get cold. If you still have electricity then make regular hot drinks and fill a hot water bottle to stay warm.
Stay safe Outside
Thankfully most slips and falls are minor and only mean a few bruises, but they can sometimes be more serious; snow and ice underfoot increases our risk. If you have to venture out:
- Wear sturdy footwear, with a good grip and look at adding non-slip overgrips to them.
- Use trekking or walking poles.
- Allow extra time and don’t rush.
- Look where you are going. Keep your eyes down and watch for ice patches. Kerbs can be buried in snow and hard to spot.
- Is your journey necessary, can you leave until later in the day when conditions may improve?
- Wear extra layers to protect you from cold and to provide cushioning if you fall.
- Wipe your feet well when entering buildings and lookout for wet floors.
Stay Safe Driving
Clear the snow in front of your cars wheels and keep the wheel straight.
If your wheels are spinning as you set off, try second gear.
Put an old blanket, car mat or sack under the wheel to get more grip.
Slow down. Your car will take longer to stop than usual.
Drive smoothly, stay in high gears, stop and start gradually.
Brake before a bend as turning the wheel and breaking at the same time may make you skid.
If you do skid, turn the wheel in the direction the car is going, and then try to slow down and re-steer the car. Do everything as slowly and gradually as you can.