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Level Three Cold Weather Alert issued for Kent

Published: 13/07/2021

Severe weather forecast for the South East could cause major health risks and Kent County Council is reminding residents of simple steps to help vulnerable friends, families and neighbours.

A level three cold weather alert has been announced for the region by the Met Office which triggers actions in the NHS, public health, social care and other community organisations, to support vulnerable people who have health, housing or economic circumstances that increase their risk of harm.

There is the potential for locally heavy snow on Saturday night and Sunday leading to difficult driving conditions, disruption to transport, isolated power outages and an increased risk of slips and falls.

Warnings & Alerts issued:

An area of widespread, persistent and occasionally heavy snow will affect parts of the southeast and east England throughout Sunday, with the potential for some significant accumulations across eastern parts of Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Kent throughout the day. Within the warning area, accumulations widely 5-10 cm are probable, with a potential for 15-20 cm in places. Very strong easterly winds with gusts around 50 mph are possible, which may lead to blizzard conditions for a time and the possibility of drifting of snow. Later on Sunday evening, the heavy snow will start to ease, with light snow potentially continuing well into Monday, adding to snowfall accumulation totals.

With the cold weather alert, it is important that people are making sure they are following basic, common sense advice to help keep themselves warm and well.

Nationally, there are thousands of excess winter deaths per year because of a drop in temperature. The ideal indoor temperature is 18-21°C (65-75°F). If trying to save fuel, it is advisable to heat the living room during the day, the bathroom when needed and the bedroom, just before going to bed.

Other simple common sense measures for keeping warm and well in the home include:

  • Regular cups of tea, or other hot drinks, and regular hot meals can help your body stay warm.
  • Make sure warm clothes are within reach – keep jumpers and thick socks close by. Wear several thin layers, rather than one thick one.
  • Have your flu vaccine to protect yourself and others (this is free for anyone over 65, pregnant women, those with long term conditions, and children aged two to four – contact your GP to make an appointment.
  • Order repeat prescriptions in good time to make sure you have enough supply of any medicines you use.
  • Have your heating and cooking appliances checked regularly and make sure the chimney has been swept recently.

Preparing for very cold weather means being ready to stay indoors, making sure there is enough food and medicine at home, ordering repeat prescriptions in plenty of time, particularly if bad weather is forecast. If you have to travel or go outdoors, tips to follow include:

  • Wear layers of warm clothing and shoes with slip resistant, good grip soles
  • Make sure you are not caught out by snow and ice; stay tuned to the weather forecast and plan ahead with food supplies

More information is available online about how to keep yourself and others safe during cold weather and also via the NHS guidance on very cold weather.