Safer Seasons: Winter

Here's some useful information on keeping yourself and others safe through the cold winter months


Winter information

Stay well

Stay well

There are lots of things you can do to stay well this winter.

Get your flu jab: the flu virus is active in winter and it can be far more serious than you think. Contact your GP, practice nurse or pharmacist to book an appointment now. Find out more information and if you're eligible for a free flu jab on the West Sussex Wellbeing website

Eat well: regular hot meals and drinks will keep you warm. Stock up on tinned or frozen foods. Get it delivered if you can, so you don’t have to go out when it’s cold or icy.

If you feel unwell: act quickly and don’t wait for it to get worse. Winter can make existing health problems worse. Speak to your pharmacist, as they are fully qualified to advise you on the best course of action.

Safe and Well Visits: are a free service offered by West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service to those aged over 65 or those living with disabilities. It involves a prearranged visit to your home on how to make it safer. If you would like to request a visit please call 0345 8729 719.

Stay warm

Stay warm

Get your heating system checked: make sure it is working safely and efficiently. Ensure you have working smoke alarms and BS EN 50291 standard carbon monoxide alarms in your home. 

Keep your home warm: heat your home to at least 18⁰C (65⁰F). Keeping warm can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression.

Keep moving and wrap up: any activity, even cleaning, gets the circulation going and makes you feel warmer. Wear multiple layers of clothing indoors and out.

Keep your bedroom window closed on winter nights: breathing cold air can be bad for your health as it increases the risk of chest infections.

Order winter fuel in advance: check pipes are lagged and know where to turn off your water supply.

Sign up to the free Cold Alert Service: this is for people in Sussex and alerts vulnerable people to cold weather events before they happen. It runs from November to March 2019. To register call 01273 484337 or visit www.coldalert.info 

Sign up for weather warnings at www.metoffice.gov.uk or phone 01392 885680 or 0370 900 0100. 

Stay thrifty

Stay thrifty

Don’t pay more than you need to: make sure you are getting the best deal from your energy supplier, or consider switching to another one. You could save around £200 per year. Have a look at www.yourenergysussex.org.uk

Warm Home Discount: if your household is on a low income you could receive £140 off your energy bill – contact your electricity supplier today to find out if you are eligible.

Don’t let the heat escape: there are grants available to help households on a low income with the costs of insulating lofts and cavity walls. You may also get help with replacing a broken or inefficient oil, LPG or gas boiler. 

Trouble paying your energy bills: talk to your supplier first to discuss how to pay what you can afford. Citizens Advice can also help.

Stay in touch

Stay in touch

Keep an eye on your neighbours or relatives: make sure they are safe, warm and well. 

Stay social: continue your social activities with friends, let them know if you can’t get out for any reason. 

Keep a list of useful numbers and emergency contacts: here are a few useful ones...

West Sussex Wellbeing Hubs can offer further support to keep you and your family healthy. Visit www.westsussexwellbeing.org.uk or call:

  • Adur and Worthing - 01903 221450
  • Arun - 01903 737862
  • Chichester - 01243 521041        
  • Crawley - 01293 585317
  • Horsham - 01403 215111
  • Mid Sussex - 01444 477191

For social care support enquiries or for information on telecare services call Adults' CarePoint on 01243 642121 or visit www.westsussexconnecttosupport.org.

To report or get more info about power cuts, call 105 or from a mobile 0800 316 3105

If you need extra help during power cuts contact the electricity power provider for your area:

  • UK Power Networks 0800 169 9970
  • Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks 0800 294 3259

Citizens Advice can provide a wide range of support including advice on energy bills and changing energy tariffs. Call 0344 477 1171. 

Families can visit their local Children and Family Centre for further advice and support.Visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/cfc to find your nearest centre or call 01243 777807.

Stay roadwise

Stay roadwise

During winter we want you to be ready, safe and informed when travelling on the county's roads. 

What we do

We keep main roads, approaches to hospitals and busy bus routes passable. This is supplemented by parish and town councils who spread salt when necessary in their problem areas. We also stockpile salt at our depots and in salt bins across the county. Highways England is responsible for the M23, A27 and A23.

Find the gritting routes, winter service plan and related information about our roads in winter on our winter service page

What you can do

  • Only travel when your journey is necessary
  • Prepare your vehicle and have a breakdown kit ready
  • Avoid using hot water to clear snow and ice as it can freeze quickly
  • Check on vulnerable neighbours 
  • Clear and grit pathways and drives before ice forms, if you have the means to do so. 

If during winter months you notice the weather is taking its toll on the roads, and you see potholes or fallen trees, report them online through love.westsussex.gov.uk. This online reporting system can also be downloaded for free as an app. 

Find out more about dealing with extreme weather by visiting our dealing with extreme weather page

Sign up to get flood warnings by phone, email or text message if your home or business is at risk of flooding. The service is free.

Staying informed

You can find information about gritting routes, salt bin locations, clearing ice and snow, and how to make an emergency plan online at www.westsussex.gov.uk/snow

Keep informed with regular updates by following us on Twitter @WSHighways and Facebook.com/WestSussexCC

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