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What to do when the weather's particularly bad


Fortunately really bad weather doesn’t come around too often in the UK. But it’s worth making sure you’re prepared if we are told to expect severe weather, especially winter storms, ice or snow.

Beat the bad weather with these simple steps

  1. Keep an eye on the weather forecast. It's good to know what to expect. You can watch it live below on this page. 
  2. If bad weather is forecast, make sure you have everything you need. Check you've got enough medication and stock up on food to keep in the cupboards or freezer in case it's harder to leave the house. 
  3. Take extra care if the ground is slippery. Wear shoes with good grip and consider keeping salt and sand mixture handy to grit paths. You could ask your neighbours for help to clear paths or driveways clear in bad weather - the vast majority of people are more than happy to help. 
  4. Plan ahead when driving. Try to avoid going out in the car in bad weather if at all possible, and make sure you follow advice on driving conditions near you. If you do need to go out, keep blankets, some snacks and a shovel in the car in case you get stuck. 
  5. Have a torch at home in case of a power cut. Don't forget to check the batteries!
  6. Keep emergency numbers nearby. Having the number for your energy supplier on hand can be really helpful if there's a power cut. You can also register with your supplier so they'll call you in the event of a power cut.

Advice from the Met Office

The Met Office website has lots of useful advice on keeping safe when the weather's bad.

Keep well this winter

From looking after your health to keeping your spirits up, there are lots of simple, practical ways to make the winter months a bit easier. 

Find out more

Look out for cold weather alerts

Cold weather alerts are issued by the Met Office when the winter weather is most likely to significantly impact people's health.

The Met Office's cold weather alerts are a way of warning about cold weather conditions in advance - so you can take extra precautions to keep safe and well. They operate from November 1 to March 31 every year, in association with Public Health England.

They are issued by the Met Office when one of the following happens:

  • The mean temperature falls below 2°C for 48 hours or longer.
  • There's heavy snow and/or widespread ice.

You can find the alerts on the Met Office website, their Twitter feed and on TV and radio.

National weather forecast

Watch the latest weather forecast for the UK, provided by the Met Office.

We're here to help

We offer support through our free advice line on 0800 678 1602. Lines are open 8am-7pm, 365 days a year. We also have specialist advisers at over 130 local Age UKs.

The development of this informational webpage and video was supported by an educational grant from Seqirus.

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Last updated: May 21 2020

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