We’ve put our clocks back an hour and it’s getting dark earlier. It can only mean one thing – winter’s around the corner. For some this can mean cosy nights in and walks in the countryside, but there are various risks that winter weather poses, and now is the time to plan ahead to make sure you’re prepared.
New research by the Met Office found that a quarter of UK adults (23%) don’t do anything at all to prepare for winter weather like heavy rain, high winds and freezing temperatures, leaving millions of people vulnerable to accidents, and damage to their property and possessions.
We found that 76% of people don’t check their pipes are insulated (76%), whilst just 4% check their house is protected against flooding. And when it comes to travel, just 38% of people topped up the anti-freeze in their car.
Colder than you think
While it happens every year, more than nine out of ten adults (91%) underestimate just how cold British winters can be with the average minimum temperature in the UK in January being a chilly one degree Celsius. This may explain why 22% of adults confess to being inadequately dressed for the weather at least once a week during the winter months.
Winter weather and its impacts like low temperatures and flood water can be harmful to your health and can lead to an increase in accidents. Four in ten UK adults (40%) have had a winter-related accident which has caused injury. Most of those have injured themselves falling over during the winter but some have been blown over or hit by flying objects in high winds.
Looking out for the elderly
Winter can be a lonely and dangerous time for many – particularly those who are elderly or vulnerable. Just over a quarter (26%) of Brits already set a good example by checking in on older or vulnerable neighbours during winter, with others offering to clear paths or driveways in snowy conditions. Younger people are far less likely to check on elderly neighbours – just 13% of 18-24 year olds do, compared to 33% of those aged 55-64.
Be prepared for winter
The Get Ready for Winter campaign aims to help raise awareness of the dangers posed by winter weather and provide tips and advice on how to minimise its impact. The campaign is run and implemented by the Met Office working with a number of Government Departments with support from charities and other community based organisation.
To find out more about how to prepare for winter, including handy tips, head to the Met Office’s Get Ready for Winter website: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/get-ready-for-winter