A Level 3 weather warning has been triggered for Cambridgeshire with “bitterly cold” conditions and sub-zero temperatures predicted for the rest of this week.
People can expect wintry showers and frosty mornings over the coming days with temperatures struggling to get much above freezing and lows of -2C tomorrow (Tuesday) morning and -3 on Wednesday forecast.
As part of its Stay Well This Winter campaign, Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) is reminding householders that severe cold weather can be dangerous, especially for the young and old and those with ongoing illnesses.
Health experts at the county council are recommending some simple measures to help people stay warm and well during the cold weather.
Val Thomas, consultant in public health at CCC, said: “Although winter weather and snow can be fun for some, these weather conditions are also associated with an increase in illness and injuries. Cold weather increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes, lung illnesses, flu and other diseases and people slip and fall in the snow or ice, sometimes suffering serious injuries. Some groups, such as older people, very young children, and people with serious medical conditions are particularly vulnerable to the effects of cold weather.
“Wear a few layers of thin clothing rather than one thick layer when out and about, try to avoid going outside but if you do wear shoes with slip resistant, good grip soles. If indoors, keep your heating to the right temperature as heating your home to at least 18°C in winter poses minimal risk to your health when you are wearing suitable clothing.
“We also are asking everyone to remember the needs of friends, relatives and neighbours who could be at risk during this period of severe cold weather. Make sure they know what to do to stay warm and are well stocked with food and medications. If you, or they, are eligible for a flu vaccination make sure you get it as soon as you can.”
TIPS FOR STAYING WELL IN COLD WEATHER
* Heat your home to at least 18°C in winter;
* Get your heating system and cooking appliances checked and keep your home well ventilated;
* Use your electric blanket as instructed and get it tested every three years.
* Do not use a gas cooker or oven to heat your home; it is inefficient and there is a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning;
* Make sure you have a supply of heating oil or LPG or solid fuel if you are not on mains gas or electricity – to make sure you do not run out in winter;
* Fit draught proofing to seal any gaps around windows and doors and make sure you have loft insulation;
* Draw your curtains at dusk to help keep heat generated inside your rooms and make sure radiators are not obstructed by furniture or curtains;
* Food is a vital source of energy and helps to keep your body warm so have plenty of hot food and drinks;
* Stock up on tinned and frozen foods so you don’t have to go out too much when it’s cold or icy;
* If possible, try to move around at least once an hour. But remember to speak to your GP before starting any exercise plans;
* Wear lots of thin layers – clothes made from cotton, wool or fleecy fibres are particularly good and maintain body heat;
* Make sure you have spare medication in case you are unable to go out;
* Check if you are eligible for inclusion on the priority services register operated by your water and power supplier:
* Check on older neighbours or relatives, especially those living alone or who have serious illnesses to make sure they are safe, warm and well.