Press release

Cold weather alert issued

Warnings have been issued across northern England after the Met Office forecast a spell of cold weather.

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Today (11 December 2014) the forecaster has issued a Level 2 cold weather alert across Yorkshire and Humber, the North East and the North West, this means there is a forecast in which there is at least a 60% chance of severe weather, with average temperatures to drop to 2°C or below within the next 48 hours.

Because of that Dr Angie Bone of Public Health England (PHE) is reminding people to look out for others, to keep warm indoors and to take care when walking on icy or wet surfaces when out and about.

Yolanda Clewlow, Health Services Manager at the Met Office said:

As a low pressure system passes across the UK colder air is being dragged down from the north, some areas may see snow or wintery showers early on Friday morning and there will be a few days of low daytime temperatures and frosty nights for Yorkshire and Humber, the North East and the North West.

This has triggered the first Level 2 cold weather alert of the winter which is valid between 00.10am Friday and 6am Sunday morning.

Dr Angie Bone of the extreme events team at PHE said:

Cold does kill, even in places where the temperatures aren’t at their lowest. Most of our advice on keeping warm in cold weather may seem like common sense, it’s important that we make the point that people should think about how cold can affect them.

Our advice is that when indoors, have plenty of warm food and drinks to stay warm and try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18°C, particularly if you are not mobile, have long term illness or are 65 or over.

If you need to go out wear lots of thin layers and wear shoes with a good, slip-resistant grip to prevent any accidental falls.

This is also a good time to think about how the bad weather may affect your friends and family, particularly if they are older or very young or have pre-existing health conditions. These groups can be particularly vulnerable to the ill-effects of cold so think now what you could to help.

The Cold weather plan for England sets out a series of actions that health and social care organisations, voluntary and community groups, and individuals can take and plan for cold temperatures to help reduce cold-related illnesses and deaths.

Top tips to prepare for colder weather:

  • look out for friends and family who may be vulnerable to the cold and ensure they have access to warm food, drinks and managing to heat their homes adequately
  • try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18°C, particularly if you are not mobile, have long term illness or are 65 or over
  • stay tuned for weather forecasts, ensure you are stocked with food and medications in advance (have deliveries or ask a friend to help)
  • take weather into account when planning your activity over the following days
  • avoid exposing yourself to cold or icy outdoor conditions if you are at a higher risk of cold related illness or falls
  • discuss with friends and neighbours about clearing snow and ice from in front of your house and public walkways nearby, if unable to do so yourself

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Notes to editors

  • The Cold weather plan for England is updated each year to provide health and social care services with emergency planning and preparedness guidance in the event of severe weather and periods of cold weather.
  • For more information about the Cold-Weather Alert system visit the Met Office website.
  • Read more information on winter preparedness.
  • Public Health England’s mission is to protect and improve the nation’s health and to address inequalities through working with national and local government, the NHS, industry and the voluntary and community sector. PHE is an operationally autonomous executive agency of the Department of Health. www.gov.uk/phe Follow us on Twitter @PHE_uk

PHE press office

Centre for Radiation Chemical and Environmental Hazards
Chilton
Oxfordshire
OX11 0RQ

Published 11 December 2014