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Stay warm, well and safe this winter


Follow our winter safety advice to keep your family safe, warm and healthy during the cold weather.

If you are eligible for the flu vaccine, get it now - it's free because you need it. Contact your GP practice, pharmacist or midwife to get it. Find out if you are eligible for a flu vaccination at NHS: Who should have the flu vaccine.

Winter essentials

Keep warm and well

Before winter

  • Have a supply of your prescription drugs and other medicine. You can order your repeat prescriptions online. To sign up to GP online services ask at your practice or visit NHS: Start using online services.
  • Have a week's worth of food supplies, including bread in the freezer, long-life milk and non-cook foods. If you live far from other people, have more supplies on hand.
  • Keep an 'In Case of Emergency' record of who to call and let them know they are your emergency contact.
  • Consider Care Connect, our 24 hour emergency contact alarm service that can help you to call for assistance if you have an accident or fall at home. They help you feel safer at home, and remain independent for longer, giving peace of mind to your family and friends.

During winter

  • Stay active - keep moving, even if you're sitting down. Just wiggling your fingers and toes will help you keep warm. Try not to sit still for more than an hour or so indoors - get up and stretch your legs.
  • Eat well - make sure you have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day to keep your body warm.

Stay safe and warm outdoors

  • Dress for the weather and wear several layers of loose-fitting clothing.
  • Well-fitting boots and shoes with a good grip are the most effective way to stay warm and prevent a fall.
  • Use a walking aid if it helps you stay steady and safe.
  • Always be careful when driving in snow and ice

Look out for your neighbours

  • Look after elderly or vulnerable friends and neighbours. If you are worried about someone call Social Care Direct.
  • Hypothermia is a danger in cold weather. Look after elderly and vulnerable people, make sure they are heating their house correctly. If you think someone has hypothermia, call 999 for an ambulance immediately.

Keep your home safe and warm

Before winter

  • Check if you qualify for a grant to have a boiler replacement, insulation or other energy saving measures installed. Find out more - see our Warmer, energy efficient and environmentally friendly housing information.
  • Contact your energy supplier and make sure you are on the right energy tariff.
  • Get a supply of blankets to keep you warm in case the heating goes off.
  • Have salt/grit/cat litter for driveways and paths, a snow shovel and other snow removal equipment. See our Salt bins information to find out where your nearest salt bin is. 

During winter

  • Try and keep your heating to a constant temperature of between 18°C and 21°C during the day and at least 18°C at night.
  • Keep bedroom windows closed, breathing cold air can increase the risk of getting a chest infection.
  • Think about other ways of keeping warm like closing the curtains, hot water bottles or electric blankets. 
  • Keep a water supply in case a pipe bursts. Follow Northumbrian Water's beat the freeze advice to avoid burst water pipes, and know where to turn off your water.
Contact us
Public Health
03000 264 109
Our address is:
  • County Hall
  • Adult and Health Services
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 5UJ

First Contact/Social Care Direct
03000 267 979
0191 383 5752
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