Parts of Britain have been issued severe weather warnings today, with the Met Office advising the rest of the country to ‘be prepared’ for the blanket of snow sweeping across the nation, with amber alerts in place for the Midlands, London, and the North West of England. Red alerts have been issued across Wales which could be the worst hit with up to 30cm of snow predicted to fall in the next 24 hours.
Blizzards and strong winds are likely to result in reduced visibility and treacherous conditions on the roads, with public transport services also suffering. People are advised to check details of their transport provider before they embark on any journey over the next 24-48 hours.
The Met Office has urged the public to be as best prepared as they can, and have given some top tips and advise to follow to stay safe, warm and comfortable in these conditions.
Keeping your home warm
Drawing your curtains in the evening can help stop heat escaping. If your curtains are made of thin material you can buy heat-insulating curtain liners that sit behind your existing curtains for better insulation.
Check for draughts. Even a small draught can leave your home feeling cold – you can buy window sealant at your local DIY store to fill in areas that are draught-prone.
Check your loft insulation. The recommended amount of loft insulation is at least 11 inches – if yours measures less than this get it topped up or risk loosing precious heat.
If you must travel, follow the advice below to make sure your journey is as safe as possible.
Charge your phone. Make sure your phone is fully charged where possible before travelling so you can contact road assistance services should you encounter any problems.
Plan your route. When planning your journey try to stick to main roads as these are likely to have been gritted and be safer to travel on. You’re also less likely to get stuck!
Layer up. Keep a few extra layers, hat, scarf and gloves in the boot as an extra safeguard.
Inform. Let your friends or family know when you are travelling, your expected route and ETA at your destination.
Energy-saving in cold weather
You don’t have to spend the earth in order to stay warm in Winter conditions. The tips below may be simple but can help you to stay warm without breaking the bank.
Up your tog. Don’t just assume you’ll be warm under your duvet during the night. If you’ve had your duvet for a number of years or the tog rating is less than 10.5 it might be a good idea to invest in a new duvet – for very low temperatures a 13.5 tog or Four Seasons option is recommended. Down duvets have the greatest thermal efficiency to keep you cosy so investing in a Winter duvet could help save you money and keep you warm.
Central heating. If the temperature drops and your house isn’t staying as warm when the heating goes off, rather than turning the thermostat up it’s more energy efficient to keep the temperature the same but keep your heating on for slightly longer.
Discounts & grants. There are various government grants and energy saving discounts available to selected households. For example, vulnerable households can apply for the Warm Home Discount (https://www.gov.uk/the-warm-home-discount-scheme/overview), or contact the Energy Saving trust for information on what grants are available to help you energy-proof your home (http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Take-action/Find-a-grant)
For up to date weather information visit The Met Office website http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/.