Peterborough residents urged to look out for each other as cold weather alert put in place for weekend
Health experts are urging people to look out for others, to keep warm indoors and to take care when out and about as the Met Office has forecast cold temperatures over the weekend for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
Over the weekend temperatures of less than 2C are likely to occur in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, triggering a Level 2 Cold Weather Alert in these areas. Severe cold weather can be very harmful, especially for people aged 65 or older, the very young or those with chronic disease.
Val Thomas, Deputy Director of Public Health at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “It’s very important to keep in mind that cold can be extremely dangerous, even when temperatures aren’t at their lowest. Our advice on keeping warm in cold weather may seem like common sense, but it is important that people should think carefully about how cold affects everyone, especially the elderly and the very young.
“It is recommended that we should heat our homes to at least 18°C (65°F) in winter as this minimises risks to our health. Try to avoid going out in cold icy weather but if you do need to go outside wear shoes with slip resistant grip, good grip soles and wear a few layers of thin clothing rather than one thick layer. It is also important that you have frequent hot food and drinks as these help to keep you warm.
“We are also asking everyone to remember the needs of friends, relatives and neighbours who could be at risk during this period of cold weather. If you, or they, are eligible for flu vaccination make sure you get it as soon as you can.” The Chairman of the Joint Administration’s Adults and Health Committee Councillor Richard Howitt said, “It is forecast for very cold temperatures this coming weekend and due to previously unseasonably warm weather, people may not be properly prepared. Plan ahead. Make sure you have sufficient food and repeat medication so that you can cope if you’re unable to leave the house for a period of time.
“Wrap up warm and keep active. Any exercise can bring health benefits, both physical and mental. Look out for others, check in on vulnerable neighbours, friends and family. Make sure they’re well, warm and have sufficient stocks of food and medicine so they don’t need to go out during very cold weather.”
Visit nhs.uk/staywell for more information.
The council issued a number of top tips to keep warm during cold weather:
Keep your home warm, efficiently and safely:
Heating your home to at least 18°C in winter poses minimal risk to your health when you are wearing suitable clothing.
Get your heating system and cooking appliances checked and keep your home well ventilated
Use your electric blanket as instructed and get it tested every 3 years
Never use a hot water bottle with an electric blanket
Do not use a gas cooker or oven to heat your home; it is inefficient and there is a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and this can kill
Make sure you have a supply of heating oil or LPG or sold fuel if you are not on mains gas or electricity – to make sure you do not run out in winter
Keep in the warmth by:
Fitting draught proofing to seal any gaps around windows and doors
Making sure you have loft insulation. And if you have cavity walls, make sure they are insulated too
Insulate your hot water cylinder and pipes
Draw your curtains at dusk to help keep heat generated inside your rooms
Make sure your radiators are not obstructed by furniture or curtains
Look after yourself:
Food is a vital source of energy and helps to keep your body warm so have plenty of hot food and drinks
Aim to include 5 daily portions of fruit and vegetables. Tinned and frozen vegetables count toward your 5 a day
Stock up on tinned and frozen foods so you don’t have to go out too much when it’s cold or icy
Exercise is good for you all year round and it can keep you warm in winter
If possible, try to move around at least once an hour. But remember to speak to your GP before starting any exercise plans
Wear lots of thin layers – clothes made from cotton, wool or fleecy fibres are particularly good and maintain body heat
Wear good-fitting slippers with a good grip indoors and shoes with a good grip outside to prevent trips, slips and falls
Make sure you have spare medication in case you are unable to go out
Check if you are eligible for inclusion on the priority services register operated by your water and power supplier
Look after others:
Check on older neighbours or relatives, especially those living alone or who have serious illnesses to make sure they are safe, warm and well
Get financial support:
There are grants, benefits and sources of advice to make your home more energy efficient, improve your heating or help with bills. Visit www.gov.uk for details on the different schemes available this year.