The Army have been put on stand-by to help the elderly and the vulnerable as Britain faces temperatures as low as -10C this week. The Met Office have set the alert status to amber, which is a level at which the emergency services and local councils will be able to cope unaided, but if the alert is changed to red, extra help will be needed. The alerts system was introduced last November to cut the number of winter deaths.
‘People should keep up to date with the forecast, wrap up warm and keep an eye on elderly and vulnerable neighbours,’ said Met Office spokesman Alison Richards. Here are a few tips from the Met Office on how to stay safe in the harsh winter conditions.
- Avoid any unnecessary travel in severe weather.
- If you have to make a journey when snow is forecast, make sure you have warm clothes, food, water, boots, a torch and spade, and let someone know when you expect to arrive and your route. Try to wait until the roads have been gritted before travelling.
- Take care driving on snow, as it may have become compacted and turned to ice.
- Take care when shovelling snow. Cold air makes it harder to work and breathe, which adds some extra strain on the body and can be the cause of heart attacks in the vulnerable.
The icy blasts from Siberia will create the longest cold snap of the winter so far, so take care this week when travelling about the UK.