FURTHER snow and ice warnings and potential blizzards for the West Midlands, have prompted Public Health England doctors to warn people to plan ahead now.
Forecasts from the Met Office suggest parts of the West Midlands will see freezing temperatures plummeting to as low as –9C overnight, persistent snow and blizzard conditions in some parts of the region on Thursday, with more snow and slightly raised temperatures expected over the weekend.
Dr Thomas Waite said: “Consider what you need to stock up on, do you need food or essential supplies such as medicines?
“It may be harder for some people to get out later this week when more snow arrives, so if you know someone at risk, someone with heart or lung conditions, young children or who is over 65, please take the time to check and see if there’s anything they need.
“Also remember to keep homes heated to at least 18 degrees. If you’re able to clear paths of snow or ice, do so.
“Staying well in conditions like this can be a challenge, so if you can check on someone whose health may be at risk, please do.”
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 and drinks and are managing to heat their homes adequately
Try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18°C, particularly if you are not mobile.
Stay tuned for weather forecasts, ensure you are stocked with food and medications in advance, have deliveries or ask a friend to help
Seek entitlements and benefits such as Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments, which are available to some
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 pavements.
Power and utility companies have schemes which make at-risk groups a priority for reconnection following power cuts.
Find out if you meet the criteria and if so, sign up. Visit ofgem.gov.uk for more information.
An illustration showing how cold weather can affect health is at http://bit.ly/2ybUcZl