Prepare now to stay warm during winter, urges East Sussex County Council

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Now that winter is here East Sussex the County Council is reminding residents to prepare so they can stay warm and well.

Practical steps can be taken now to make sure they look after themselves if the weather turns more severe.

You can prepare by:

* If you’re over 65 or have a long term condition, are a carer, or pregnant, talk to your GP and book your free flu jab

* Make sure your medicine cabinet is well stocked and medicines in date

* Stay safe in the snow – wear footwear with good grips. Wait until roads have been gritted and, remember, black ice might not be visible

Remember to stay warm and well:

* Keep curtains drawn and doors closed to block out the cold

* Have regular hot drinks and at least one hot meal a day if possible to keep energy levels up

* Wear several light layers of warm clothes (rather than one chunky layer) and wrap up warm if you need to go outside.

* heat the main living room to around 18-21°C (65-70°F) and the rest of the house at least 16°C (61°F). If you can’t heat all rooms, keep the living room warm during the day and heat the bedroom before going to bed.

If severe winter weather does strike, the council’s priority will be to maintain social care services and to ensure people remain safe and protected.

For example, if the roads are icy it will continue to deliver Meals on Wheels to the elderly and vulnerable, by using 4x4 vehicles from the transport department and other staff.

The county council has worked with key partners, such as the NHS, to put a system in place which will respond to any emergencies and monitor the demand for services.

But if anyone needs help or information they can call Social Care Direct on 0345 60 80 191.

This is manned during office hours and if it is an urgent call out-of-hours it will be diverted to our emergency staff.

Lead member for adult social care cllr Bill Bentley said: “We are asking people to make sure they are ready for winter and stay warm and well. Our priority is the care and well-being of the elderly and vulnerable in our community.

“We will do all that we can to maintain our high standards and flexibility if the bad weather of last year is repeated this winter.

“If you have elderly or disabled neighbours, you can help by just popping round to check everything is okay and the property is well heated.”

There is lots of information on the county council website, including details of getting funding to heat your home and advice on Winter Fuel payments at: www.eastsussex.gov.uk/keepwarm

People can also call Social Care Direct on 0345 60 80 191. This is manned during office hours and if it is an urgent call out-of-hours it will be diverted to emergency staff.

These services are available all-year round, not just during the winter and can offer advice guidance and help about all aspects of Adult Social Care. This is a number is free to call from a landline but there may be a charge for calling from a mobile phone.