5 tips for staying safe in snow

1. What to do if you need to drive somewhere?
2. Driving safely in snow
3. Thinking ahead and acting now so you can cope if cut off
4. Staying safe if you are cut off
5. What you can do in a powercut

1. What to do if you need to drive somewhere?

Snowy, wintry weather can cause delays and make driving conditions dangerous, follow these few simple steps to prepare before journeys:

  • Plan your route
  • Check for delays and road closures
  • Leave more time to prepare and check your car before setting off
  • Check wipers, tyres and screenwash
  • Pack essentials in your car 
  • Take a fully charged mobile phone with an in-car charger or battery pack

2. Driving safely in snow

It is safer not to drive in heavy snow and icy conditions but if you absolutely must drive, keep yourself and others safe by:

  • Using dipped headlights
  • Accelerate gently, use low revs and change to higher gears as quickly as possible
  • Starting in second gear will help with wheel slip
  • Maintain a safe and steady speed. Keep your distance from other vehicles
  • Keep a constant speed up hills. Leave plenty of room between cars
  • Use a low gear to go down hill and try to avoid braking unless necessary
  • Steer into skids. Do not take your hands of the wheel or slam on the brakes

3. Thinking ahead and acting now so you can cope if cut off

You could be without food, heat or light if you are cut off by snow and can't access services and amenities for a number of days. Act now and be prepared, by getting the essentials together that you could need:

  • Torches and batteries
  • Candles and matches or lighters
  • Plenty of blankets and warm clothing.

4. Staying safe if you are cut off

Following these simple steps will help keep you safe and well if isolated due to snow:

  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature, both during the day and at night.
  • Turn off electrical heaters and put out your fire before going to bed to avoid fire risk
  • Don’t forget your pets. Create a place where they can be comfortable in severe winter weather.
  • Prevent frozen pipes, open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing
  • Stay indoors wearing layers of loose fitting lightweight warm clothing rather than bulky clothing
  • Never use a hob or oven to heat your home, they can increase carbon monoxide levels

If you need support call the British Red Cross Support Line on 0808 196 3651

More about keeping your home warm in winter and avoiding frozen or burst pipes

5. What you can do in a powercut

People cope better with power cuts when they have prepared for them in advance and it's easy to do. The essentials that could help you cope with a power cut are:

  • candles and matches or lighters,
  • torches and batteries,
  • a mobile phone power pack

If your power goes out these simple steps can help you deal with the situation:

  • Switch off all electrical appliances that shouldn’t be left unattended, ready for when the power comes back on.
  • Leave a light on, so you know when the power cut has been fixed.
  • Check to see if your neighbours are safe and if they have a power cut too. If they have power, your trip switch may have activated.
  • Wrap up. If it's cold, wrap up warm and close internal doors to keep the heat in.
  • Portable heaters are a good alternative if heating systems are down.
  • Call 105 for information, it’s a free service for people in England, Scotland and Wales.

Be prepared for weather warnings to change quickly. When a weather warning is issued, stay up to date with the weather in your area.