Preparing for Winter

The list below provides you with additional things that you should consider to prepare for winter:

  • Ensure your heating system is regularly serviced and chimneys are swept
  • Maintain adequate ventilation for gas heaters, coal or wood burning stoves
  • Financial assistance schemes are available which can help with heating costs and home insulation. Check if you may be eligible.
  • Check stopcocks are working properly
  • Service any electric blankets at least every three years
  • Check smoke/fire alarms are working and replace any low batteries
  • Keep a store of salt and sand to hand to mix before spreading on icy paths and steps
  • Have appropriate foot wear to hand e.g. warm boots with good grip on soles
  • Remember several layers of clothing will be warmer than one thick layer as they will trap layers of warm air. Keeping active generates heat. Hot meals and drinks will all help to keep you warm
  • Ensure you have adequate cold and flu remedies at home. Your local pharmacist will be able to advise you on managing minor illnesses. Follow basic hygiene measures to avoid spreading germs to others
  • Ensure you take up your GP’s invitation for an annual Flu jab
  • Order repeat prescriptions in plenty of time
  • Keep your kitchen stocked with basic, longlife food items
  • Tune in to local news and weather reports or check the Met Office website ( on a daily basis for the latest weather advisories, warnings, and forecasts
  • When severe weather is predicted/experienced consider whether any of the journeys you are considering are essential. Monitor the traffic and weather conditions and plan your journeys. Useful contacts- or or Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000.
  • If travelling by car ensure you carry out a check of your vehicle before setting out, carry a severe weather emergency kit in your vehicle (an ice scraper and de-icer, torch, warm clothes, blanket, boots, first-aid kit, battery jump leads, a spade if it’s likely to snow, food and drink)
  • Check on any elderly family, friends or neighbours to make sure they are safe and warm
  • Age UK has also produced the ‘Winter Wrapped Up’ advice guide to keeping well, warm and in touch with other people. For more information on the above and other ideas and advice please see contact details below.