Keeping warm in winter

 Now that winter is here, think about how the cold weather could affect you, and those around you.

The Cold Weather Plan for England contains practical things we can all do to minimise the risks to our health this winter. The plan offers advice that you can take before and during the winter, to reduce the risks to your health. It also provides health and social care services with guidance in the event of severe weather and periods of cold weather (1 November to 31 March).

When severe cold weather is likely to significantly affect your health, alerts are triggered in the Cold weather health watch which comprises four levels of response.

Top tips for keeping warm and well this winter include:

  • Heat your home to at least 18oC to minimise the risk to health, especially if you’re 65 and over or have health problems. If heating the whole house is a problem heat the living room during the day and your bedroom just before you go to sleep
  • Have your flu jab to protect yourself and others from flu if you are eligible for vaccination
  • Look out for friends, relatives and neighbours who may be vulnerable to the cold
  • Stay tuned to the weather forecast and plan ahead with supplies
  • Have regular hot meals and drinks throughout the day and keep active to help stay warm
  • Get financial support to make your home more energy efficient, improve your heating or help with bills. Find out more about Winter Fuel Payments by calling 08459 15 15 15 (8.30am–4.30pm Mon–Fri, text phone 0845 601 5613) or visit
  • Have your heating and cooking appliances checked regularly
  • Wear a few layers of thin clothing rather than one thick layer, and when you need to go outside wear shoes with slip resistant, good grip soles
  • See more information on the seasonal flu vaccine and eligible groups from NHS Choices
  • Read our wrapping warm this winter leaflet for more handy tips

Cold weather action cards are available. These action cards summarise advice on how individuals and organisations should respond to cold weather alert levels 0 through 4.

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