Staying safe and warm in a winter storm
It’s that time of year when the UK is subject to storms like the one this week, bringing wind, snow and blizzard-like conditions with it.
Schools and workplaces all over the country must occasionally shut and in such conditions people are advised not to travel.
If you don’t need to leave the house, the storm can pass safely from outside your window, but with the temperatures dropping it’s important to take precautions to stay safe.
Here’s our top tips for staying safe in a winter storm.
Follow the alerts
Keep an eye on the weather forecast for your area and follow any instructions or weather warnings. If you’re told not to travel, don’t.
Prepare for a power outage
Power outages at this time of year can be particularly troublesome because of the cold. Plan ahead and fully charge any electronic devices you might need – like mobile phones – and make sure your torch has fresh batteries.
Add extra heat
If you can do so, set your thermostat higher to warm your home as much as possible in case the heating does go out. The warmer your home is the longer it will take to cool.
Keep your heater close
If your boiler breaks because of the cold, an electric heater – assuming the power hasn’t been cut – will be key. Make sure you have it to hand. A hot water bottle can also help you feel warm.
Fill jugs of water
If pipes freezing is a concern, make sure you have plenty of water stored in advance. Fill up jugs of water and water bottles – you could even fill the bathtub with a reserve of water just in case.
Close the doors and block drafts
Keep the doors in your home closed to keep heat from escaping and carefully block any potential drafts from doors and windows. Insulating windows is a good idea too.
Live in one room
If you do lose power or the heating goes, try and live in one room to conserve heat. A room that faces away from the direction of wind is best if possible. If the temperature is dropping quickly, insulate the room with any available blankets and pillows. Line the floors – where heat can escape – and consider draping blankets over windows and doors too.
Wear layers to keep your body temperature up and make sure you wear socks and slippers – if it’s particularly cold indoors, don’t hesitate to wear a hat and gloves indoors too as heat can escape quickly from your hands, feet and head.
Phone your neighbours
Keep in contact with neighbours – particularly with any vulnerable neighbours or if you feel vulnerable yourself. Knowing who in your community might need assistance, or can offer some to you, will help ensure you don’t get caught in an unsafe situation.
Do you have any tips for staying safe in a winter storm?
Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor
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