Cold weather can be bad for your health, but there are some simple things we can all do to prepare for severe weather and keep warm and healthy:
- Try to heat rooms you spend a lot of time in, like the living room or bedroom, to at least 18C.
- Keep your bedroom at 18C at night and keep your bedroom window closed.
- Try to reduce draughts by drawing your curtains at dusk and fitting draught excluders around doors – this can be done cheaply.
- Keep moving indoors with little exercises like moving your feet up and down.
- If you have visitors, ventilate the room for a few minutes before and after they arrive to help stop the spread of germs.
- Wear a hat, scarf and gloves outside, particularly in December and January.
- When out and about, wear shoes with good grip to avoid slips and falls on slippery or icy surfaces.
- Wear several layers of thinner clothing, this will keep you warmer than one thick layer,
- Drink hot drinks and eat warm foods like curries, stews and soups.
- If bad weather is forecast, plan ahead check you have enough food and medication in case it’s harder to leave the house.
- Check on older or vulnerable relatives and neighbours – check their heating is working and if they need any groceries or medications.
- To reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), babies should sleep in rooms heated to between 16C and 20C.
- Remember to check that your heating and cooking appliances are safe. Contact a Gas Safe registered engineer to make sure they’re operating properly.
- Contact your water and power suppliers to see if you can be on the Priority Services Register, a free support service that helps people in vulnerable situations.
- You can get vaccinated to reduce the risk of respiratory illnesses. Check your eligibility for a flu vaccination or COVID-19 booster.
Stay safe on Medway’s roads
Top tips when travelling during the winter months:
- Plan your journey: early mornings and afternoons will be darker – try to choose routes which are well lit.
- Be bright, be seen: wear something reflective. If you are wearing a reflective item including a keyring, bag tag or sticker, motorists will be able to see you 150 metres sooner.
- Prepare a winter essentials car kit: be prepared and have a kit ready with an ice scraper, de-icer, a torch, batteries, jump start cables, a road map, food and drink and a high-visibility vest.
- Make sure your windscreen is completely clear before you set off so you can easily spot any hazards on the road.
- Use the highest possible gear to avoid wheel spin.
- Avoid braking or accelerating sharply - if you skid, ease off the accelerator but don’t brake suddenly.
- In snow or bad weather conditions, avoid driving if you can.
Keeping Medway moving during winter
Our dedicated Highways Team works around the clock to help keep Medway moving during the winter months.
We look after more than 820km of roads across Medway, carrying out routine maintenance throughout the year as well as urgent, essential repairs.
During the winter, we ensure all our main roads are gritted, when needed, to help prevent ice from forming.
From mid-October to mid-April, our contractor is on standby to grit Medway's roads whenever ice or snow is expected.
We monitor weather forecasts to decide whether gritting is needed. Our staff are on call 24 hours a day to ensure they can react quickly to changing weather conditions.
Salt doesn’t prevent snow from settling but it can prevent ice from forming.
In Medway we have:
- 4,000 tonnes of salt stockpiled
- Eight salting vehicles
- 502 salt bins