Skip to main content

Winter preparedness

Keeping warm, safe and well during the winter

Ensure that you stay healthy during winter. Annually, there are an estimated 25,400 excess deaths mostly linked to circulatory and respiratory diseases.

Remember the needs of friends, elderly relatives and neighbours who could be at risk during the cold weather. Winter and the cold weather it brings are a source of worry to many older people and those at risk of complications.

Preparing for winter and following some simple suggestions can help people stay healthy‚ safe and as comfortable as possible.

The Department of Health Keep Warm Keep Well campaign offers the following tips to help people stay healthy during winter:

  • Heat homes to the right temperature (18-21 C or 64-70 F). Get financial support including grants, to make homes more energy efficient.
  • Eat well. Food is a vital source of energy, which helps to keep the body warm.
  • Get a flu jab.
  • Look after yourself and others during winter to make sure that they are safe and well

There are a number of simple things you can do to help you and your family keep warm, healthy and safe through the cold weather - as well as saving money.

Cold weather payments

You may get a Cold Weather Payment if you’re getting certain benefits or Support for Mortgage Interest

Protecting your home

  • Check that pipes are adequately lagged
  • Check that you know where your stop tap is located
  • Find out if you are entitled to grants and subsidies for home heating and insulation

Health and wellbeing

  • Check you have had your flu jab if you are aged 65 or over, pregnant, have certain medical conditions, live in a residential or nursing home, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person
  • Check you have well-gripping shoes to prevent falls in cold weather; wear several layers of clothes to stay warm; and remain active in your home
  • Good hand hygiene can help prevent the spread of norovirus

Out and about

  • Check that you know where to find traffic and travel information
  • Check local and national weather forecast and keep up to date with the latest warnings
  • Check that you have an emergency kit available in your car

Get ready for winter


  • Check you know who might need help in your community area in really bad weather
  • Sign up for weather warnings on the Met Office website
  • Check whether you are at risk of flooding and sign up for free flood warnings by visiting the Environment Agency's website

Warm Homes Essex

Warm Homes Essex is a new service, set up by the Citizens Advice Service in Essex, in order to help people that may have high heating costs as a result of a health condition, on a low income, have an old boiler or because their house loses a lot of heat.

They can help with:

  • Maximising your income to make sure you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to.
  • Helping you with fuel debt.
  • Energy saving around the home.
  • Energy tariffs - are you on the best one for you?
  • Access to grants for energy saving improvements.
  • Access to emergency fuel payments.
  • Energy saving devices.

To find out how they can help telephone 0300 3033 789 or for further information go to the Warm Homes Essex website.