Winter Survival – Tips to help make the cold spell safe

The temperatures are beginning to drop and its time to bring out the coats and gloves, the morning brings with it a snap of chill. Winter is starting to creep in and now is the best time to prepare yourself for what is to come, in this article we will be going over the precautions you need to take to ensure that you have a safe and healthy winter period. It's time for Winter Survival!

1 – Get your Flu Jab done!

Influenza, the very word itself sends chills down those that have experienced its wrath. It kills every winter. Those that are particularly vulnerable (Elderly, pregnant, otherwise compromised health) are advised to make sure they protect themselves through vaccination. Every year around 600 people die from complications of the flu. It leads to hundreds of thousands of GP appointments and thousands of hospital admissions in the year. Influenza is a big deal, flu season begins around October and ends in March/April with the majority of flu cases seen between December and February.

Getting the jab is easy, it takes no time at all but at least you can sleep easy knowing that you have given yourself the best chance of avoiding it. After all who wants to ruin the most festive time of the year by being in bed and feeling the worst you’ve ever felt. Flu vaccinations can be done in your local Pharmacy or your GP surgery.

2 – Check your heating works

It may sound like a no-brainer but for many people they only discover a problem with their central heating when they turn it on in winter. By then the engineers are all busy, and a new boiler can take weeks to get sorted. A common mistake is not checking your central heating in the weeks before autumn and when its still warm, this is a perfect time to check and make sure your heating is working. A simple task can save you money and time, most importantly it will help keep you warm when its coldest outside.

Another good idea is to keep your central heating on during the coldest part of winter throughout the day, this will stop pipes from freezing up. Frozen pipes are a big reason why central heating stops working, so keep your dials low but on a constant temperature. Make sure your boiler is serviced regularly to make sure it’s working as it should and its clean.

3 – Check on elderly neighbours

Winter months claim many lives and the majority of those are from our elderly population. We must each work together to make sure that our elderly neighbours are regularly checked on to make sure they are okay. Popping around once every couple of days just to make sure they are warm and have enough food will and does help save lives. This is especially important if that person is living on their own as usually the neighbour will be the closest person to keep an eye on them. Winter survival should include looking after your neighbours! Let them know about and that we can deliver their medicines for them!

4- Try not to make unnecessary journeys when it is icy on the pavements and roads

Trips and falls due to icy conditions can lead to nasty injuries, it’s important to take proper precautions when travelling in these conditions.  Wear suitable footwear and clothing to prevent slipping and also to help you stay warm. Try and grit the pavement in front of your house, if everyone does this then the pavements will stay ice-free and will be safer for pedestrians. Try not to use hot water as the ice will come back again and will be worse. As stated above the elderly may find it more difficult to get around in icy conditions, so if they are particularly frail then make sure they have what they need during the difficult times so they don’t have to go out.

We’ve covered some tips to help keep you save this winter, remember this is not an exhaustive list but if you can cover the points above it will help to give you a head start. Keep your layers on and look after yourself and your neighbours, after all preparation is the best defence when it comes to staying safe in winter. Winter Survival Complete!

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