Get Winter Prepared
Become better prepared for wintry weather
Severe weather, including storms, low temperatures, flooding and heavy snow, can cause significant disruptions to normal life.
We have seen from periods of severe weather in the past how our daily lives can be affected - from flooding in winter 2013/14 and the very cold weather in 2018, to named storms such as 'Eunice' and 'Franklin' in 2022. Already this year, parts of the UK have experienced serious impacts of storms 'Babet' and 'Ciarán'. The effect of climate change means we are likely to see an increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events across the UK.
Some common issues include road and travel disruptions, damage and disruption to basic utilities, and damage to property, all of which can impact communities and businesses.
Cold weather can affect anyone, particularly the vulnerable including the over-65s, under-5s, mums-to-be and people with long-term health conditions such as heart disease, asthma and poor mental health.
Kent’s Local Resilience Forum partners work together to produce plans to manage the impact of severe weather events. Weather forecasts are also monitored regularly by emergency planning teams and notifications of severe weather are shared with residents, along with safety advice.
Understanding what you can do now to prepare and protect your household and those you care for can reduce the impact of these extreme weather events.
Get winter ready
Follow warnings and advice issued ahead of and during severe weather.
Consider what you could do to prepare your home and property for extreme cold or in the event of high winds. Visit the Met Office website for some handy tips.
Check if your home is at risk of flooding and make a flood plan for your household. Visit Kent Prepared flooding pages for more information.
Prepare a 'grab' bag with essential supplies such as a torch, water and medication, in case you have to leave home quickly in an emergency. Visit Kent Prepared emergency grab bag web page for ideas about what to pack
Keep a physical copy of key information such as phone numbers and insurance details.
Prepare a winter kit for your car in case you get stuck in cold and wintry weather. For advice visit www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/warnings-and-advice/seasonal-advice/travel/winter-car-kit.
Offer help to those that need it
If you can support others, keep in touch with vulnerable family, friends and neighbours. When cold weather is forecast, see if they need help to stock up on food and medication.
If you are worried about someone else’s health, contact your local pharmacist, your GP or NHS 111, who will all be able to offer advice. If you are in any doubt about what service to use, visit the NHS web page www.stopthinkchoose.co.uk.
For advice about keeping warm and well, and additional support available visit:
Medway Council’s web pages at www.medway.gov.uk/info/200349/winter.
Stay fire safe
For winter fire safety advice visit www.kent.fire-uk.org
Check if you are eligible for a free home fire safety visit.
Test your smoke alarms weekly.
Have your chimney and flue swept and inspected regularly to prevent fire and damage.
Take care with electric heaters, candles and chargers and do not overload sockets.
Further web links
10 things you should do now to prepare for winter - Met Office
Travelling in winter - National Highways
Warm Welcome spaces
Warm welcome spaces offer support to local residents and a hand of friendship to residents who may be struggling to keep their homes warm. To find your nearest space visit the national Warm Welcome website at www.warmwelcome.uk