People urged to stay safe and keep warm as cold weather alert issued

Published Wednesday 29 November 2023 at 11:38

The cold snap and freezing temperatures are expected to last all this week until next Tuesday, December 5th, and an amber weather alert has been issued across the whole of the North West including Blackburn with Darwen.

Children, older people and other vulnerable groups can be particularly at risk in colder temperatures, and people with long-term health conditions, such as respiratory and heart conditions, can find that their symptoms are worse in very cold weather. 

By being prepared for the cold weather, those most at-risk can protect themselves against the worst of the winter weather.

Here are a few tips that can help people stay warm this winter and during this cold period:

  • If you go outside for a walk, remember to wear thin layers of cotton, wool or fleecy fibres to keep you warm.
  • Also make sure you wear shoes with good grip and a scarf around the mouth to protect you from the cold air, and to reduce the risk of chest infections.
  • Stay inside in bad weather if you don’t have to go out.
  • If possible, try to keep your living room warm throughout the day and heat your bedroom before going to bed.
  • To minimise the risks to your health, if you’re not moving about as much at home and inactive for long periods you should wear warm clothing indoors and if possible, heat your home to at least 18°C (65F).
  • Keep your bedroom windows closed at night.
  • If you use an electric blanket always check it regularly for signs of wear or damage. Never use an electric blanket and a hot water bottle at the same time. If you’re in any doubt about your blanket, contact the manufacturer before you use it to make sure that it is safe. It may need to be replaced.
  • Make sure you’re getting all the help that you’re entitled to. There are grants, benefits and advice available to make your home more energy efficient, improve your heating or help with bills.

Councillor Damian Talbot, Executive Member for Public Health, Prevention and Wellbeing, said:

It is very cold at the moment and this means that people can have issues with keeping themselves and their homes warm and staying healthy. Please take a look at the advice and tips on staying warm and well and staying safe.

We have lots of support and advice in Blackburn with Darwen to help you during the colder winter months, especially with fuel and energy bills and the cost of living, as well as general wellbeing. You can find all this at:

Dr Lindsey Dickinson, associate medical director at NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB), which organises healthcare services in the region, said:

Keeping warm, both indoors and outdoors, is important in winter as this can help prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression. The cold and damp weather, ice, snow and high winds can worsen any existing health problems, increase the risk of a fall, and make us more vulnerable to respiratory winter illnesses.”

It’s always a good idea to prepare for the winter months especially if you’re vulnerable. You can do this by stocking up on food essentials such as long-life milk, tins of soup and keeping bread in the freezer. Also, make sure you have enough medication and remember to get repeat prescriptions filled in advance.

You’ll naturally feel more tired during the winter so it’s important to have a good night’s sleep and eating your five-a-day of fruit and veg will help boost your energy levels.”

The government is also providing support to people across the UK to help them with their energy bills this winter. Further information can be found here: get help with your energy bills.

You could also be eligible for cold weather payments if you receive certain benefits or pension credits. This means you’ll get a payment if the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below over 7 consecutive days.

You’ll get £25 for each 7 day period of very cold weather between 1 November 2023 and 31 March 2024.

Find out if you are eligible:




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