Are you prepared this winter?
Extreme weather can bring extra challenges for our residents through the winter months and the following advice gives you useful tips on how to be prepared. It includes:
Be ready, whatever the weather
Severe weather conditions can have a big impact on our daily plans. The daily news channels, Met Office and the Environment Agency give the most up-to-date weather forecasts and flood warnings, and we have provided useful information about council services.
Our severe weather information includes details on:
- bins and recycling (if there are any disruptions to the normal service)
- school closures
- road gritting/salt bins
- clearing snow and ice.
Further met office advice about keeping yourself and your home safe and secure no matter what the weather, covers everything from frozen pipes to what to do in the event of a storm or a powercut, and will help you to be prepared.
We recognise that there is a rough sleeping presence within the district. Our Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) for rough sleepers therefore sets out the arrangements that we will put into place to ensure that people are not at risk on the streets in the district during extreme cold weather.
A Community Caretaker is a volunteer who gives up their spare time to help the community. We have community caretakers across the district who offer support including snow clearance.
What to do in an emergency
Disaster can strike quickly and without warning. It can force you to evacuate your neighbourhood or confine you to your home.
While emergency services will get to you within the quickest time possible, in the event of a major disaster it may be some time before you receive a response. You should therefore prepare now to meet your own basic needs until help arrives.
We all hope that a major emergency never happens here. However if it does there is some simple advice that, if you follow it, could minimize the impact it has on you, your family and your home.
Practical information about being ready for any emergency gives you clear guidance on what you need to do to have a proper plan in place should any major emergency happen.
The "Go in, Stay in, Tune in" advice is recognised and used around the world. It is the best general advice for people caught up in most emergencies.
Monitor local news bulletins for the latest information or advice on local radio stations:
Radio Kent - 96.7 and 104.2 FM
Heart - 103.1 and 102.8 FM
KMFM - 96.4 and 106.8 FM
Follow advice/instructions given by Emergency Services personnel on the ground.
Here at Dover District Council, emergency planning is a key focus so that we can help protect you, our residents, should the worst happen. Working with our partners, including the Police, Kent Fire & Rescue Service, South East Coast Ambulance, NHS Kent & Medway, Environment Agency and Kent County Council, we have plans in place should we need to use them.
Looking after your health
Cold weather can pose a serious health risk, especially to older people in our communities. There are some simple steps we can all take to help us keep well this winter, and please do remember to look out for people in your local community who are alone and may need your support.
The NHS stay well website offers invaluable advice about how you can help yourself stay healthy.
The South East Coast Ambulance Service has created a checklist to help people prepare for the colder months and in turn help the service. You should only call 999 in the event of a life-threatening or serious emergency.
There is plenty of information regarding Covid-19 and where to go for advice on the council's website home page.
Our tips on how to keep well this winter include energy advice about keeping warm:
- Make sure the home’s temperature is kept between 18oC and 21oC.
- Stock up on basic food items in the cupboard and freezer.
- Wear warm winter clothing.
- Get the seasonal flu and pneumococcal jab (free for over 65s).
- Order repeat prescriptions in plenty of time.
- If you start to feel unwell, even if it's a cough or a cold, don't wait until it gets more serious. Seek advice from your pharmacist.
Help the NHS help you stay well this winter
In winter, the number of A&E attendances increase substantially, putting an additional, but sometimes avoidable, burden on the NHS. The'Help Us, Help You' campaign encourages the most vulnerable people in our society to take better care of their health as the colder months approach, by promoting self-care. It supports the public in finding the right NHS service for their medical need to better enable the NHS to help them.
Cold weather payment
You may be eligible for financial help with your heating bills if you’re claiming certain benefits. You’ll get a cold weather payment if the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees Celsius or below for 7 consecutive days. You’ll get £25 for each 7 day period of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March.
You qualify for a Winter Fuel Payment if both the following apply:
- you were born on or before 5 April 1954
- you lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of 16 to 22 September 2019 - this is called the ‘qualifying week
Winter health – health help
How to stay well in winter
Warm homes – save energy, save money
Protect yourself against winter illnesses
Driving in winter
Think before you travel by car this winter. By planning ahead and checking the weather forecast, as well as stocking up on essentials before you travel, you will be prepared for any eventuality.
Pay extra attention to planning your journey in severe weather. Before you travel, ask yourself these questions:
• Do I really need to travel now or can my journey wait until the weather improves?
• Should I plan an alternative route for my journey?
• Have I checked my route for delays and poor weather conditions?
• Is my car ready for the journey?
• Have I packed an emergency kit?
• Will I need to change my driving style to suit the conditions?
Advice from the Highways Agency states that you should always adjust your driving according to the conditions and plan your journey by checking the latest weather conditions.
Make sure you can see clearly and that you can be seen. Clear ice and snow off all windows and lights before you set off. Use at least dipped headlights in poor visibility – and don’t just rely on daytime running lights if you have them.
During your journey remember this critical question: If I had to brake suddenly in an emergency, could I stop safely within the distance I can clearly see ahead of me?
For the most up-to-date information on traffic and travel through Kent
Gritting in your area
Clearing snow and ice from paths and driveways
Driving in severe weather
Advice on what to pack in your car emergency breakdown kit
Sign up to Keep me Posted and receive emergency alerts and extreme weather updates by email.
Contact us: Dover District Council’s 24-hour emergency phone line is 01304 821199.