North East Lincolnshire Council is urging residents to look after themselves as temperatures drop below freezing this week, taking steps to keep themselves warm and well.
Take extra care to keep moving, eat well, and look after your mental health; continue to look out for friends, families and neighbours who might need your support.
Keep your home warm
Low indoor temperatures can have a serious impact on your health. Small changes can help keep you and your home warm, including:
- Wearing extra layers if you’re heading out;
- Keeping your windows and curtains closed at night;
- Try to heat rooms you spend a lot of time in to a steady temperature (at least 18°C);
- Try to reduce draughts: you can fit draft excluders around doors cheaply.
There are lots of Warm Spaces scattered around North East Lincolnshire, offering a warm space with refreshments, activities, and some company.
Visit https://connectnel.com/warm-spaces/ for more details.
Managing your energy bills can be concerning when you need to warm your home.
Here are some top tips to be more energy efficient:
- Turn appliances off rather than leaving them on standby;
- Install a smart thermostat – smart thermostats allow you to track your usage easily and turn your heating on or off from anywhere so you can save money when you are not at home;
- Turn down your thermostat – reducing the temperature your thermostat is set to by just one degree can save you more than £100 a year, according to experts;
- Wash clothes at lower temperatures – you could save around £34 a year by turning down the temperature on your washing machine;
- Monitor your energy usage and submit regular meter readings;
- Avoid using the tumble dryer – drying your clothes on racks inside where possible could save around £70 a year.
Support is available to keep your home warm, including the Cold Weather Payment scheme. Those in receipt of certain benefits are eligible for extra payments if the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees Celsius or below over seven consecutive days.
If you are eligible, make sure to check if any payments are due in your area at www.gov.uk/cold-weather-payment/
North East Lincolnshire Council’s Home Energy Team are on hand to help those struggling to heat their home. Call the team on 01472 326296 Option 5 or visit www.nelincs.gov.uk/home-energy/
For all available grants and payments to help with extra costs in the cold weather, visit www.nelincs.gov.uk/keep-warm-and-well-this-winter/.
If you’re feeling unwell
It’s important to seek medical help as soon as you feel unwell. The cold weather can affect anyone, but those 65 and over, or with long-term health issues, are particularly at risk.
Having a medicine cabinet at home with some simple over-the-counter remedies like paracetamol, ibuprofen, and anti-diarrhoea tablets is recommended so you can treat any common illnesses or ailments yourself, without needing to see a GP.
You can get support from:
- A pharmacy – pharmacists provide good health advice on a range of minor ailments if you need to see a GP, tips on keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet, and information about getting your flu jabs;
- Your GP – if you need to see your GP, they may be able to speak to you online or over the phone and advise you if you need to come in for an appointment;
- NHS 111 – for urgent healthcare needs, the NHS 111 service is a free number to call or access online at https://111.nhs.uk.
Gritting and roads
The gritters are regularly heading out to keep the roads moving. Please pull over in a safe location if a gritter is coming up behind you and allow them to pass safely.
Check your vehicle is safe before travelling in the cold weather. Keep de-icer topped up and don’t forget to carry emergency supplies including warm clothes, food, and drinks.
If you find yourself driving on icy roads, please adapt your driving to the conditions. Reduce your speed, avoid harsh braking and increase the gap between you and the vehicle in front.
For more information about local gritting routes and winter weather travel advice, visit www.nelincs.gov.uk/winter.
The freezing temperatures cause a significantly high risk to those sleeping rough. If you need support, please get in touch with the Homeless Prevention Team on 01472 326296 Option 1.
If you see someone sleeping rough, inform the Council by downloading StreetLink from your usual app store. StreetLink offers an easy way for the public to let the Council know about people who are rough sleeping, by asking for information about the individual and where you saw them.
For more advice on keeping warm and well during the cold weather, visit www.nelincs.gov.uk.keep-warm-and-well-this-winter/.