Cold Weather

photo of snow

Cold weather can be dangerous to many, so during the winter months it’s important to stay warm and be prepared for any eventuality.

Winter Preparation

  • Stay warm by keeping your home at a comfortable temperature.
  • Make sure you look after yourself and check on neighbours or relatives to make sure they are safe, warm and well.
  • To stay warm, wear layers of clothing and wear shoes with a good grip if you need to go outside
  • Try to make sure that you have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day and keep active in the home if you can.

Clearing Snow

To make things safer, it is always an idea to clear snow. Clearing paths of ice and snow is the kind of practical step that most of us can take during cold weather. Helping others hand with this can make all the difference for people who may be unable to clear their own paths, or who need to use local paths to access services.

  • It's easier to move fresh, loose snow rather than hard snow that has compacted together from people walking on it, so move snow as early as possible.
  • Don't use hot water as it can re-freeze making conditions more hazardous
  • Apply Table salt or dishwasher salt sparingly - as little as a tablespoonful can treat as much as a square metre of ice.
  • Sand, grit or ash can be used but it will not melt snow or ice, it will simply provide more grip.
  • When clearing snow, consider where it will be left so as to not cause further problems for access. Piling snow over gullies or drains may stop melting snow from draining away and allow it to refreeze.

Driving in Cold Weather

When driving in snow and ice, adjust your driving to the conditions as your stopping distance is increased significantly. Black ice is non-visible ice and is of great concern as it can be an even greater hazard for both motorists and pedestrians. When driving, use a higher gear than you would normally to avoid wheel spin. Manoeuvre gently and avoid harsh braking and acceleration. If you start to slide, gently ease off the accelerator and avoid braking. If braking is necessary, gently pump the brakes don't slam them on.

If your journey is essential, ensure your vehicle is winter ready, with topped up oil and water and has sufficient fuel, and that you have your emergency winter kit on hand. Before you drive, ensure that you have removed all the snow from the top of your car and cleared your number plate and mirrors.

During prolonged wintry conditions, transport infrastructure can be severely affected with diminishing salt reserves. The demand for salt can be greater than the salt producing companies can supply, which can cause disruption to public services, private sector and the general economy of Wales.