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Top tips to stay safe this winter

Flu is a vaccine preventable illness

Having your annual flu jab before winter arrives is your best defence to prevent flu. If you are in the flu 'at risk' group, protect yourself and others this winter by having your flu jab.

Icy pavements and roads can be very slippery

Take extra care if you go out and wear boots or shoes with good grip on the soles. The Met Office advises buying salt, grit or cat litter and putting it on paths and driveways to lessen the risk of slipping.

Look out for elderly friends and neighbours

Check they are safe and well through the winter. Make sure they are warm enough, especially at night, and have stocks of food and medicines so they do not need to go out during very cold weather. Be a good neighbour and assist other residents with clearing the snow and ice from outside their properties. There is no law preventing you doing this as long as you are careful, and use common sense. Do not use hot water as this will melt the snow, but may well replace it with black ice.

If you are worried about a relative or an elderly neighbour, contact your local council or ring the Age Cymru helpline on 0800 169 6565 or visit their website www.ageuk.org.uk/cymru

Driving through ice and snow

  • Is your journey necessary or can you wait for the weather to improve? Plan your journey checking the route for delays and poor weather conditions.
  • Clear any snow off the roof of the vehicle before you drive away.
  • Watch out for icy conditions - look for clues such as ice on the pavement or on your windscreen before you start your journey and take extra care.
  • Try not to brake suddenly – it may lock up your wheels and you could skid.
  • Look out for winter service vehicles spreading salt or using snow ploughs. They have flashing amber beacons and travel at slower speeds – around 40mph.
  • Do not overtake unless it is safe to do so – there may be uncleared snow on the road ahead.

For up to date information visit the North Wales Trunk Road Agency website http://www.nmwtra.org.uk/

Keep an emergency kit in the car, including:

  • Ice scraper and de-icer
  • Torch
  • Warm clothes and a blanket
  • A pair of boots
  • First-aid kit
  • Battery jump leads
  • A shovel for snow
  • Food and a warm drink in a flask
  • Sunglasses to help you see in low winter sun
  • A fully charged mobile phone and charger

Weather

The Met Office provide the weather forecasts for broadcasts on radio and TV, so listen in to these bulletins regularly to keep up to date with the weather. Severe weather warnings are also issued on the Met Office website www.metoffice.gov.uk, or you can ring the customer centre on 0870 900 0100.

Follow these tips to keep you and your family warm and well in extremely cold weather.

  • Keep curtains drawn and doors closed to block out draughts.
  • Have regular hot drinks and at least one hot meal a day if possible. Eating regularly helps keep energy levels up during winter.
  • Keep as active as possible. Move around at least once an hour and do not sit down for long periods, even light exercise will help keep you warm.
  • Keep your main living room at around 18-21°C (64-70°F), and the rest of the house at least 16°C (61°F). If you cannot heat all the rooms you use, heat the living room during the day and the bedroom just before you go to sleep.
  • Wrap up warm, inside and out. Several thin layers of clothes are better than one thick layer. Do not forget to wear hats, gloves and scarves. If possible, stay inside during a cold period if you have heart or respiratory problems.
  • Buy your heating oil early while demand and prices are lower.
  • Ensure portable heaters are maintained and adequately ventilated.

For a free home fire safety check call freephone 0800 169 1234 24hrs a day.

Compiled by the North Wales Resilience Forum-a multi agency group working in partnership to make North Wales a safer place.

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