The weather is starting to warm up now, spring is on its way and winter will soon seem like a distant memory. This doesn’t mean you should forget about it until it swings around again and you’re left panicking to prepare for the climates. Here are a few simple steps to remember when preparing for winter.

Have enough basic supplies

If you have to quickly leave your house or your power gets disturbed, we recommend putting a few bits and pieces in a bag which you can quickly pick up and take with you. We’ve covered all eventualities and suggest stocking your quick grab bag with:

  • Bottles of water
  • Medicines
  • A torch
  • Important documents
  • Snacks
  • Change of clothes for everyone

Get the flu jab

For most healthy people it’s easy to shake off a cold in a few days. For those more prone to illness, such as the elderly, young children and those with other conditions it can mean a long illness that can cause damage. Going to the pharmacy or doctors for the annual flu jab allows you to tackle winter like everybody else!

Prepare your car for winter

To make sure your windscreen survives the dirt and grime that comes with winter driving, we recommend using a screen wash additive. Salt from gritting can mean your windscreen can be difficult to see through. Frozen windscreens are also common in winter, anti-freeze screen washes are advisable in the colder temperatures.

What about your tyres? Are they winter ready? Yes, it’s dangerous driving in winter with low tread but, more importantly, it’s illegal. You need to be checking your tyres all year round to make sure your tread is within the legal levels. You can be fined up to £2500 if you’re stopped and your tread is too low.

Severe winter weather can mean that sometimes drivers are left stuck in their cars for hours on end. We always advise people to have a winter car kit, however, an emergency kit in your car is a good idea all year round. Here’s what we’d personally have in ours:

  • An ice scraper
  • De-icer
  • Jump leads
  • Shovel
  • Blankets
  • A torch
  • Non-perishable snacks like cereal bars
  • Medicines
  • Water
  • In-car phone charger
  • Warm clothes
  • High vis jacket
  • Warning triangles

Is your home warm enough?

The cold can cause serious health implications, more so for the elderly or those with health conditions. Homes should be at least 18°C. Make sure you’re blocking any drafts and that all of your windows are closed too. Think about getting your boiler serviced ahead of the cold weather too to make sure it’s not going to let you down in the cold.

Plan ahead

In the months leading up to the winter season, it’s a good idea to consider what could be impacted. Think about things such as your commute, child care and usual travel routes.

Roads could be inaccessible rail routes could be disrupted, schools and nurseries could close and weather warnings could be issued. Is there alternative childcare you can arrange? Are you able to work from home if you take a laptop home? Could you get to work using a different means of transport? Having these arrangements in place before the winter weather hits can save a lot of stress at the time.

Do some damage limitation

With winter weather often comes a lot of wind. In the most severe cases, it can be dangerous and cause serious damage. We often see trees coming down and damaging cars and property, guttering and pipes falling, garden furniture literally flying into things and trampolines doing a spot of garden hopping.

Be aware of your home

Are your pipes insulated? If not, consider it. They keep the heat in, save you money and reduce the risk of frozen pipes. Frozen pipes are prone to bursting and causing floods, damage and leaving you with no water.

You should also be aware of the location of your stoptap. This enables you to switch off your water in case there is ever a problem. In most properties, they’re under the sink or in a cupboard, cellar or the garage.

Hopefully this has given you something to think about over the upcoming year in preparation for the winter weather!