Coping with cold weather

Release Date: 07-Jan-2010
Follow these tips to keep you and your family warm and well in extremely cold weather.
Stay warm and well:

• Keep curtains drawn and doors closed to block out draughts
• Have regular hot drinks and at least one hot meal a day if possible. Eating regularly helps keep energy levels up during winter
• Wear several light layers of warm clothes (rather than one thick layer)
• Keep as active as possible – get up and about rather than sit still all day
• Wrap up warmly if you need to go outside on cold days
• Keep your home at the recommended temperature of 18 to 21°C (64 to 70°F). If you can’t heat all the rooms you use, heat the living room during the day and the bedroom just before you go to sleep. We don’t recommend that you sleep in the living room with a fire on

Icy conditions

Ice on pavements or roads might not be clearly visible, and compacted snow may turn to ice and become slippery so please take extra care when out and about.

Although grit is in short supply now, cat litter can reduce the risk of slipping.

If you need to drive, the Highways Agency offers useful advice on travelling in snow and freezing conditions.

Check the Met Office weather forecast

Look out for others

Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be more vulnerable to cold weather.

Cold weather is especially dangerous for older people or people with serious illnesses, so check up on them if you can.

People with heart or breathing problems may have worse symptoms during a cold spell and for several days after temperatures return to normal.


If you have pets, the best thing to do is to bring them indoors. If that is not an option then make sure your pet has an outdoor shelter that is raised up from the ground and that is protected from wind and snow or rain.

Your pet will need extra bedding and you should also give them more food than usual because animals use more energy in cold weather.

KNH is experiencing high demand for services at this time, but if you need help and don’t have family or neighbours you can call on, please contact your neighbourhood housing office and we’ll try to help.