Safer Seasons: Winter

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

Cold weather alert

The Met Office has issued a Level 2 Cold Weather Alert from 6am on 3 December 2019 to 9am on 5 December 2019.

Cold weather can affect your health. The people most likely to be affected are the elderly, the very young, and people with pre-existing medical conditions.

There are lots of ways you can help yourself and your family in the cold weather:
• Heat your home to at least 18⁰C
• Keep moving – regular activity keeps you feeling warmer
• Wear multiple layers of clothes inside and outside

View the full warning at the Met Office Cold Weather Alert site.

Find out more about how to keep yourself well and your home warm during winter by visiting the NHS Keep Warm Keep Well website.

For more information go to:
• West Sussex Wellbeing Keeping Warm and Energy Advice
• WSCC Dealing with extreme weather
• WSCC Preparing for emergencies
• Follow us on Twitter for regular updates @WSCCNews @WSCCResilience @wspublichealth



Stay well

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

Get your FREE 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. Visit the West Sussex Wellbeing website for more information.

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. More information on staying well this winter is available on the NHS Stay Well website.


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 

Sign up for weather warnings at or phone 01392 885680 or 0370 900 0100. 

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

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. To find out more visit the Warm Home Discount website or call 0800 731 0214.

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

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. 

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 or visit the Safe and Well Visits website.

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 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

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 to find your nearest centre or call 01243 777807.

Utility Services Vulnerable People Risk Register is a service that in the event of power cuts or loss of water prioritises those most in need. You might be eligible for additional support during power cuts. For further information and to pre-register for Priority Services contact your energy supplier:

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