Dealing with heavy snow and ice

Find out what to do before, during and after it has snowed.

1 Before snow or ice

  • Find the latest information about snow, ice and school closures in West Sussex.
  • Keep up to date with events by following WSCC news on Twitter and liking us on Facebook.
  • Sign up to receive severe weather and school closure email alerts.
  • Contact the Energy Saving Trust for free, impartial advice on reducing your heating bills and making your home more energy efficient.
  • Check the latest forecast from the Met Office and watch out for severe weather warnings.
  • Stock up on basic supplies at home - see our emergency survival checklist for more information.
  • If you take medication make sure you have enough to get you through the bad weather.
  • Stock up on alternative fuels, such as wood and oil, if you can and always store and use these safely.
  • Check on vulnerable neighbours and make sure they have the supplies they need.
  • Prepare your car for winter weather by following RAC advice.
  • Put grit, sharp sand or salt on paths and driveways to lessen the risk of slipping on compacted snow.
  • Have a shovel available.
  • Our Protect your business pages provide information on how to prepare a business continuity plan to help in the event of extreme weather.
  • Keep your mobile phone fully charged.
  • Complete a Household Emergency Plan, which can include important numbers, such as your home insurer, doctor and the police.

Supporting document

2 During snow or ice

  • Stay warm and well - Find out if Cold Weather Payments are being made and if you are eligible.
  • Check that any elderly or disabled neighbours are managing in the cold weather - if you are worried about them you can contact us.

Venturing out on foot

  • Put on sturdy footwear to avoid slips and trips - be particularly careful going up and down steps and pavements.
  • Wear several layers of clothing and keep dry to prevent loss of body heat.
  • Keep moving your arms and legs to help the blood circulate.

Venturing out by car

Getting trapped or stranded in your car

  • Protect yourself, wrap up warm and put a hat on.
  • Put on as many layers of clothing as possible - multiple layers are better at keeping you insulated than a couple of thick layers.
  • Stay in the car and do not leave it to search for assistance unless help is visible within 100 yards - you could become disoriented and lost in drifting snow.
  • Display a 'trouble' sign by hanging a brightly coloured cloth on the radio antenna and raising the bonnet.
  • Run the engine for about 10 minutes each hour to run the heater and keep warm and turn on the car's light.
  • Beware of carbon monoxide poisoning by keeping the exhaust pipe clear of snow and opening a downwind window slightly for ventilation.
  • Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.
  • Keep your circulation going by clapping your hands and moving your arms and legs occasionally.
  • Ttake turns sleeping if more than one person is in the car - huddle together for warmth.
  • Use newspapers, maps, and even removable car mats for added insulation.

Clearing snow and ice

There's no law stopping you from clearing snow and ice on the pavement outside your home or from public spaces. It's unlikely you'll be sued or held legally responsible for any injuries on the path if you have cleared it carefully.

  • Check out Government advice on clearing snow.
  • We will put out bulk bags in key areas that have been identified by your parish council with the expectation that the salt will be used before snow falls. This salt can be used by the community to assist in clearing public places.

Weather information

Travel information

3 After snow or ice

  • The action of freezing and thawing may damage the road surface - please report potholes using our online form.
  • Be extra careful when travelling as an initial thaw could create black ice. 
  • Replace any supplies or food you have used to ensure you are ready should the severe weather return. 
  • Check on vulnerable neighbours to see if there is anything they need.
Last updated:
27 February 2018

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