As we’re all following social distancing guidelines we may not be able to plan ahead for winter like we have in previous years. Thinking ahead and preparing for what winter brings can make a difference. There are some simple things you can be doing now to prepare:
You and your family
- The annual flu vaccination is offered free to people who are most at risk from the effects of flu.
- Layer up – if you have to go out in the cold, remember that severe thin layers of clothing will keep you warmer than one thick layer. Keep your hands and face warm, if they get cold they can trigger a rise in blood pressure.
- It is important to stay active as this generates heat and helps to keep you warm. Try moving when you’re indoors, and don’t sit still for more than an hour.
- It’s important that you eat enough in winter, and hot meals and drinks will keep you warm. Try to eat at least one hot meal a day and have hot drinks throughout the day.
- Keep in touch with people, especially vulnerable friends, family or neighbours, via phone or social media.
- Have basic supplies to hand, it’s worth putting together a grab bag.
- Weatherproof your garden, think about what may be impacted in strong winds or flooding. Check if you are at risk of flooding.
- Check your heating, it should be heated to at least 18 degrees.
- Consider how you would access vital information, such as insurance documents. We are so reliant on the internet, but what if a storm meant power and mobile phone networks went down?
- Check whether your pipes are insulated.
- Think about what may be impacted by strong winds: guttering, pipes, roof tiles and garden items.
- Know what to do in a power cut. It’s now really simple to get in touch with your Electricity Distribution Network Operator; you just need to call 105.
- Check your home insurance to make sure it is valid and you have the appropriate level of cover.
- Top up anti-freeze and screen wash. It is advisable to use a screen wash additive as this helps to keep the wind screen free of dirt.
- Check oil and coolant levels.
- Have your car battery checked during an annual inspection. Battery problems are the reason for RAC call-outs in winter than anything else.
- Wiper blades and screen wash. Check them for wear and tear and ensure the windscreen washer fluid is topped up.
- Ensure all exterior lights comply with the legal requirements of the Country you are driving in. Check that all lights, including high beams and fogs work before setting of.
- Check the condition of your tyres, including the spare if you have one, for the correct pressures and legal tread depth.
- Keep your spare set, if you have any, of car keys in a safe place should you accidently lock them in your vehicle!
- If you get stuck in your car in winter it could be dangerous, so have a winter car kit ready comprising ice scraper, de-icer, jump leads, shovel, blanket and a torch.