Cold weather alert – advice on keeping warm and well


The council is issuing advice to residents following a cold weather alert from the Met Office.

A level three alert has been issued indicating there is a 90 per cent probability of severe cold weather, icy conditions or snow, between today and 9am on Monday morning (11 January),

As well as the prolonged period of low temperatures there could be icy patches on untreated roads, pavements and cycle paths. Motorists, cyclists and pedestrians are reminded to take extra care.

Cold weather can also be bad for people’s health, with the over 65s, low income families and people living with a disability or a medical condition most at risk. 

The council’s public health team has also issued some advice about keeping warm and well this winter and to help you look after yourself and others.

  • Keep warm – heat homes to at least 18°C (65°F) with the main living area slightly warmer. People should also wear appropriate warm clothing. The 18°C (65F) threshold is particularly important for people 65 years and over or with pre-existing medical conditions; having temperatures slightly above this threshold may be beneficial.
  • Maintaining the 18°C (65F) threshold overnight may be beneficial to protect the health of those 65 years and over or with pre-existing medical conditions; while continuing to use sufficient bedding, clothing and thermal blankets, or heating aids as appropriate
  • The recommended temperature for rooms where infants sleep is between 16 to 20°C (61 to 68F).
  • Layer clothing whether indoors or outside - wrap a scarf around your mouth to protect your lungs from the cold air.
  • Wear shoes with a good grip if going outside.
  • When indoors, try not to sit still for more than an hour or so. Get up, stretch legs and make a warm drink.
  • Put several layers of clothing on children when outside making sure their head, neck and hands are covered. If they then get warm, they can take one layer off at a time. Dress babies and young children in one more layer than an adult would wear. 
  • In drier winter air everyone loses more water through their breath. Keep drinking and try warm drinks and soup for extra appeal. 
  • Food is a vital source of energy and helps to keep the body warm so have plenty of hot food and drinks and stock up on tinned and frozen food to reduce the need  to go out.
  • Draw curtains at dusk to help keep heat generated inside your rooms

The council’s outreach team continues to work with, and find solutions for, people who are rough sleeping. If concerned about a rough sleeper please make a referral and the outreach team will then be aware and aim to engage with the person.

If you are concerned about your health or somebody you care for, advice can be obtained from, NHS 111 or your local pharmacist.

Published: 8 January 2021