Stay warm and safe this winter
Below is a quick survival guide to coping in the winter. Recent years have presented an increasing trend in the volume of snow fall and icy conditions affecting our infrastructure and the more vulnerable members of society.
1. Stay warm this winter
The local Health Agencies have also produced some guidance which is aimed at supporting vulnerable people useful guidance on winter health (opens in a new window) . Also see the link to the Department of Health's 2013 "Keep Warm Keep Well" campaign Keep Warm Keep Well (opens in a new window) .
The "Get Ready for Winter" initiative has involved a number of Government Departments, Industry Bodies and Voluntary Sector partners including the British Red Cross, WRVS, Dorset Churches Together, St John Ambulance and the Salvation Army working together to provide top tips on advising people how to keep themselves and their families warm, healthy and safe through the cold winter.
This initiative follows the severe winter of 2010/11 which affected many individuals and communities and highlighted the need to ensure that good advice and guidance was easily available.
The success of the initiative will rely on key messages reaching local communities and networks. An essential part of the initiative is the support and grass roots involvement from responders, communities and volunteers.
2. Order fuel early
Last winter's prolonged cold weather increased demand for heating oil in the run up to Christmas while snow and ice disrupted road logistics. Heating oil deliveries in December 2010 were up by 40% on the previous year to their highest level in the last ten years.
Defra (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) have worked with the heating oil industry and consumer advisory bodies to coordinate an awareness campaign ahead of winter 2012/13.
Advice from national bodies as to how to ensure you will not run out of supplies this winter is available:
- Federation of petroleum suppliers (opens in a new window)
- Heating Benefits 2012 (opens in a new window)
3. Community resilience through "Winter Watchers"
Many of you will know who the elderly and vulnerable are in your community and where they live. You may well be supporting them already through the work that you do. Could you be a winter watcher this year to offer this extra support to people in your community?
The Winter Watchers initiative asks communities to take extra notice of elderly and vulnerable people in the community and to take some action if the weather gets bad.
The initiative relies on informal networks of people such as Neighbourhood Watch schemes, school communities and faith groups. This winter many organisations in Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset are working together to offer extra support in the community to help people keep warm, keep well and keep safe. This could include doing shopping, gritting pavements in icy weather or even the occasional phone call or visit to check that people are OK. Identifying these people is often best done at a local community level and conversations and support can be offered in a spirit of good neighbourliness rather than official intervention.
Finally be sure to review the latest advise from the Met Office on cold weather from the following link Met Office - Get ready for winter (opens in a new window) .