From learning first aid to digging out your wind-up torch in a power cut to thinking about how your pets may cope if you had to leave your home quickly, preparing for an emergency is pretty simple! September is preparedness month, we’ll be sharing with you some top tips from our partners with a different theme each day over on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

#30days30waysuk – Give Blood

Giving blood saves lives and is a lifeline for people needing emergency treatment.  Over 6,000 blood donations are needed every day to treat patients across England. Most people between the age of 17 and 65 can give blood!  The criteria are as follows:

  • Are aged between 17 and 65
  • Are fit and healthy
  • Weigh over 50kg
  • Are over 70 and have given blood in the last two year.

Before giving blood you will have a health screening to make sure it is safe for you to donate.  Once deemed safe you will then be able to give blood; don’t worry you shouldn’t feel any discomfort.

Log onto the Give Blood NHS website so see if you are able to donate: https://www.blood.co.uk/who-can-give-blood/

#30days30waysuk – Medicine Cabinet

Do you have a medicine cabinet or first aid box at home? At your work place? Perhaps in your car?  When was the last time you checked it?

Having a well-stocked medicine cabinet will help you deal with most minor health problems and illnesses at home, here’s a few worth stocking up on: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/your-medicine-cabinet/.  Be sure to refresh medication and supplies, remember if they’re out of date don’t use them!  If you do find anything out of date, don’t throw it down the sink or toilet, take them to your local pharmacy for disposal.

You can find more information here: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/your-medicine-cabinet/

#30days30waysuk – First Aid

Did you know only 1 in 20 adults know what to do in a first aid emergency? Together, we can change this.

First aid is quick to learn and knowing just a few simple things could help you save someone’s life!

You never know when an emergency may occur and first aid skills are required. With coronavirus with us, people may be more unsure about stepping forward to help others mostly because of the physical contact. If you’re able to, wear a face mask and gloves and wash your hands after contact with someone.

The NHS website has some information on the items you should keep in your first aid kit at home: https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/accidents-first-aid-and-treatments/what-should-i-keep-in-my-first-aid-kit/

#30days30waysuk – Flood Repair

Checked your flood risk? Great! You can never eliminate the risk of flooding entirely, the National Flood Forum has some advice on how to protect your property.

If your home or property has been identified as being at flood risk there are some things you can do:

  • Understand the level of risk. The Environment Agency has a number of maps that can help you understand the risk: http://apps.environment-agency.gov.uk/wiyby/37837.aspx
  • Ensure you have suitable insurance. If you’re finding it difficult to obtain affordable insurance, there are specialist brokers able to assist you

If your home is damaged or you suffer a home emergency, you’ll want to get some repairs done quickly. But how can you make sure you don’t end up with poor-quality repairs? Make sure to think CHECK:

  • Call your insurance company before arranging any repairs. They may have a preferred company.
  • Helpful cold caller, no thanks!
  • Ensure it is a reputable trader. Are they a member of the Trusted Trader Scheme?
  • Choose from quotes, try to get at least 3 proper written quotations
  • Keen for payment upfront? Beware!

#30days30waysuk – Flood Aware

Be flood aware and check whether your property is at risk of flooding: http://bit.ly/checkFloodRiskEngland You could be impacted by tidal, river or surface water flooding.

For more information on what to do during and after a flood, visit the Environment Agency website: https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/what-to-do-in-a-flood

If you’ve identified that your property or business is at risk you should:

  • Sign up to receive flood warnings: http://bit.ly/SignUp4FloodWarnings and take a moment to understand what the different warnings means
  • Check your home insurance policies are adequate
  • Ensure seals around doors & windows are water tight
  • Invest in flood resilience measures
  • Complete a Household Emergency Plan and prepare an Emergency Kit: https://www.norfolkprepared.gov.uk/preparing-your-home/
  • Take pictures of valuable items and copies of important documents – keep this in your Grab Bag
  • You can find more information on how to prepare for a flood here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuuGFPSZEvY 

#30days30waysuk – Power Cut

You’ve probably been affected by a power cut at home or work at some point perhaps due to the weather or work being completed nearby.  In the event of a power outage there are some simple precautions you can take to help best prepare:

  • Call 105 to report the outage, they’ll put you through to your Network Operator
  • Ensure you have an already prepared grab bag to hand packed with essential items such as multiple torches (with extra batteries or wind up) and a charged power pack.  Unsure what else to pack into tour grab bag?  Click here…
  • Have a power pack charged in case your mobile phone runs out of battery and you need to make an urgent call
  • Keep fridge’s & freezers closed, food can usually last up to 15 hours if you do this

If you, or a relative, rely on necessary medical or electrical equipment then make sure you sign up to the Priority Services Register.  Each utility company operates one, it allows them to identify and prioritise where the power should be reconnected first.

You can find more information here: https://www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/power-cut/help-and-advice

#30days30waysuk – Air Quality

We all have a part to play to keep our air clean.

Clean air is important for our health and environment, annually it causes up to 36,000 deaths in the UK. Air pollution occurs when harmful substances are released into the air including smoke from fires,burning natural gases, chemicals, exhaust fumes, smoking or the dust from brake pads on cars. The graphic to the left of this text is taken from the Clean Air Day website and shows the different sources of air pollution.

During the COVID lock-down we experienced cleaner air and saw massive shifts in low pollution behaviours. How can we continue this?

  • Make the most out of fresh air, opening windows (furthest away from roads) when you are cooking or cleaning to stop air pollution building up inside
  • Use people power by walking, cycling or even scooting wherever you can. If you have to use a car, consider car sharing or using public transport
  • Reduce the amount of energy that you use at home, choose green energy suppliers where you can
  • If it’s time to upgrade, consider a hybrid or electric vehicle
  • Ensure your boiler is serviced regularly. If it’s getting near to upgrade time, look at more energy efficient models
  • Choose environmentaly friendly DIY or household products.
  • Join in with Car Free Day on the 20th September.

You can find more information at https://www.cleanairday.org.uk/

#30days30waysuk – hot and cold weather

Severe weather affects parts of Norfolk in different ways and at different times!  We’ve been lucky enough to see some of the sunshine over the past few weeks, most of us enjoy the hot weather. Yesterdays post covered the different weather warnings that the Met Office provide from hot through to windy and cold weather. Here are some tips on how to prepare and cope with hot and cold weather.

When it’s hot for too long, there are some heat risks.

The main risks of heatwave are: dehydration, overheating and heat stroke. Those most vulnerable during a heatwave are likely to be:

  • Older people – especially those over 75
  • Those who live on their own or in a care home
  • People who have a serious or long term illness
  • Those who might find it hard to keep cool – babies and very young for example
  • People who spend a lot of time outside of in hot places – such as those in a top floor flat or whose jobs are outside.

The Met Office have produced a weather ready summer checklist, with 10 simple steps to get prepared.

How can you stay cool?

  • Shade or cover windows exposed to direct sunlight
  • Drink plenty of fluids & avoid excess alcohol
  • Avoid extreme physical exertion
  • Cool your skin with water
  • Understand the signs of heat stroke, call NHS 111 if you need help or 999 if it’s an emergency.

It might not be cold yet, but Winter will soon be here!

Cold temperatures have an impact on our health, but there are also other risks such as trips and falls.  There are some simple things you can do to cope in the cold weather:

  • Keep hands and face warm
  • Wear several thin layers of clothing, instead of one thick layer
  • Stay active, try not to sit still for more than one hour.  If you can’t get motivated, try a live streamed or on-demand activity session with Active Norfolk: https://t.co/HgpdI7zlzy?amp=1
  • Try to eat at least one hot meal each day and have hot drinks
  • Remember to check in on friends and family.

#30days30waysuk – weather aware

As Brits we love discussing the weather..

As Brits we’re all familiar with the weather and weather forecasts, but did you know that the Met Office is the national Meteorological service for the UK providing critical weather services? They produce weather warnings for the public and emergency responders such as heavy rain, strong winds, snow, fog, ice, thunderstorms and lightning allowing emergency responders to plan for and respond to emergencies.

Hot and cold weather is the #30days30waysuk theme for tomorrow, so we’ll be providing some more tips then. But for the meantime, here is some information about weather warnings.

The Met Office issues weather warnings through the National Severe Weather Warning Service when weather has the potential to bring impacts to the UK. These warnings are given a colour (yellow, amber or red) depending on a combination of both the impact and likelihood:

  • Yellow – likely that weather will cause low level impacts including some disruption to travel in a few places. Many people will be able to continue with their daily lives.
  • Amber – an increased likelihood of impacts which could potentially disrupt your plans. This means there is the possibility of travel delays, road and rail closures, power cuts and the potential risk to life & property.
  • Red – dangerous weather is expected, you should take action now to keep yourself and others safe from the impacts. It is likely that there will be a risk to life, with substantial disruption to travel, energy supplies and possibly widespread damage to property and infrastructure.

If a weather warning is in place you can get real time updates from the Met Office:

APP 👉 http://bit.ly/MetOfficeWeatherAPP
YOUTUBE 👉 http://bit.ly/MetOfficeYouTube
WEB 👉 http://bit.ly/Ukweatherwarnings

Weather warnings will also feature in the latest weather forecast, but do you know how they are made? You can find out here: http://bit.ly/MetOffice-videoForecast

#30days30waysuk – stop the spread

Germs can be spread from person to person or by touching unclean equipment or surfaces, washing your hands is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself and others.

How can you stop the spread? 

  • Focus your efforts on cleaning areas in the house where germs are more likely to spread; areas such as the kitchen and toilet.
  • Use soap and hot water or a disinfectant to clean the surfaces.
  • Thoroughly dry surfaces such as works tops & chopping boards after cleaning.
  • Make sure cleaning aids are cleaned thoroughly or they’ll spread germs to other surfaces.
  • And of course, remember to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t forget that wearing face coverings helps stop the spread of coronavirus and can protect those around us when worn correctly. 

Research suggests a sneeze can propel droplets up to 4 metres