Brace yourself for the coldest winter in decades
- Dramatic weather seen across UK this week could be start of particularly harsh winter, warn forecasters
- Temperatures could mirror those of 1962/1963 when it snowed for five months and parts of the sea froze over
- El Nino phenomenon – which caused snowy winter six years ago – could be the most powerful since 1950
Summer may have only just come to an end but experts are already warning us to prepare for the coldest January in decades. Some forecasters are even warning of a repeat of the bitter winter of 1962/1963 when it snowed for five months and parts of the sea froze over.
- If you have reduced mobility, are 65 or over, or have a health condition such as heart or lung disease, you should heat your home to at least 18C. The NHS recommend that you keep your bedroom to this temperature all night.
- If you’re under 65 and healthy, you can safely have your house cooler than 18C, if you’re comfortable.
- Consider using a hot water bottle or electric blanket (but not both at the same time) to keep warm while you’re in bed.
- Food is a vital source of energy and will help to keep your body warm. Make sure that you have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day.
- Wrap up warm, both inside your home and when you go out. Layer your clothing to stay warm – put on an extra jumper if you are feeling chilly.
- Make sure your boiler is working as efficiently as it should be. A service from a Warmer Homes Heating & Renewables engineer will ensure you are getting the best from your boiler.
- Replace an old or inefficient boiler with a new one to make sure your home is kept warm throughout the winter. Government funding is available through Warmer Homes Heating & Renewables for recipients of certain benefits.
You may also be able to claim financial and practical help from the Government for heating your home. Government grants available include the Winter Fuel Payment and Cold Weather Payment.
- A Winter Fuel Payment of between £100 and £300 is available if you were born on or before July 5 1952.
- Cold Weather Payment may be available to you if you receive certain benefits. Payments are made when your local temperature is either recorded as, or forecast to be, an average of 0C or below over seven consecutive days. You’ll get a payment of £25 for each seven-day period of very cold weather between November 1 2014 and March 31 2015.