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What to do when the weather's particularly bad

Fortunately, really bad weather doesn’t come around too often in the UK. But it’s worth making sure you’re prepared if we are told to expect severe weather, especially winter storms, ice or snow.


Beat the bad weather with these simple steps

  1. Keep an eye on the weather forecast. You can watch it live below on this page or download the Met Office App for up-to-date weather at your fingertips.
  2. If bad weather is forecast, make sure you have everything you need. Check you've got enough medication and food in case it's harder to leave the house. A bottle of water could be handy if the water supply is interrupted.
  3. Have torches handy around the home in case of a power cut. And some spare batteries too!
  4. Keep emergency numbers nearby. Call 105 in the event of a power cut – you can report a power cut and get information and advice if there is one in your area. You can also register with your supplier so they'll call you in the event of a power cut.
  5. Take extra care if the ground is slippery. Wear shoes with good grip and consider keeping salt and sand mixture handy to grit paths. You could ask your neighbours for help to clear paths or driveways clear in bad weather – most people are more than happy to help.
  6. Plan ahead when driving. Try to avoid going out in the car in bad weather if possible, and make sure you follow advice on driving conditions near you. If you do need to go out, pack up the following kit in case you get stuck: blankets, a bottle of water or flask of hot drink, some snacks, a shovel, a de-icer or scraper, a mobile phone and charger.

Advice from the Met Office

The Met Office website has lots of useful advice on keeping safe when the weather's bad.

Keep well this winter

From looking after your health to keeping your spirits up, there are lots of simple, practical ways to make the winter months a bit easier. 

Find out more


Look out for cold weather alerts in England

Cold weather alerts are issued by the Met Office when the winter weather is most likely to significantly impact people's health.

The Met Office's cold weather alerts are a way of warning about cold weather conditions in advance – so you can take extra precautions to keep safe and well. They operate in England from November 1 to March 31 every year, in association with Public Health England.

They are issued by the Met Office when one of the following happens:

  • The average temperature falls below 2°C for 48 hours or longer.
  • There's heavy snow and/or widespread ice.

You can find the alerts on the Met Office website and the weather warnings on their Twitter feed and on TV and radio. 


National weather forecast

Watch the latest weather forecast for the UK, provided by the Met Office.

We're here to help

You can order printed copies of any of our guides and factsheets by calling our advice line on 0800 678 1602. Lines are open 8am-7pm, 365 days a year. We also offer support and specialist advice through the advice line and at over 130 local Age UKs.

The development of this informational webpage and video was supported by an educational grant from Seqirus.

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Last updated: Oct 01 2020

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