WITH temperatures falling, East Sussex County Council is urging residents to prepare for colder weather and stay warm, safe and well this winter.
If severe winter weather strikes, the county council’s priority will be to maintain social care services and to ensure people remain safe and protected.
If the roads are icy the Meals on Wheels service will continue to deliver to the elderly and vulnerable with the help of 4x4 vehicles.
Residents are being encouraged to take practical steps now to ensure they are able to look after themselves and neighbours if the weather turns more severe. These include:
Preparing your car for winter and carry essentials such as a shovel and de-icer; keeping your medicine cabinet well stocked to treat minor ailments such as coughs and colds at home and waiting until roads have been gritted before driving and remembering black ice might not be visible. Don’t travel in poor conditions unless it is essential.
Check on older neighbours or relatives to make sure they’re safe and well. Make sure they’re warm enough, especially at night, and have stocks of food and medicines so they don’t need to go out during very cold weather. If you’re worried about a relative or an elderly neighbour contact Social Care Direct on 0345 60 80 191 or call the Age UK helpline on 0800 00 99 66.
Cynthia Lyons, acting Director of Public Health, added: “We would urge residents to check on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be at risk from the cold and remind people to take every possible measure to keep warm and well. If you are worried about someone, or need help yourself call Social Care Direct.”
A free East Sussex Winter Home Check Service provides advice for vulnerable people and families on low incomes, on how to keep the home warm, and get help with heating costs.
The service also provides free preventative works such as improving insulation, repairing boliers, clearing gutters, lagging pipes and clearing chimneys. Information can be found at www.eastsussex.gov.uk/keepwarm.
People can also call Social Care Direct on 0345 60 80 191. This is a number is free to call from a landline but there may be a charge for calling from a mobile phone.
Updates on disruption to services caused by severe weather and advice can be found at www.eastsussex.gov.uk/coldsnap.