According to the Met Office, this winter is set to be the coldest for 35 years due to a polar vortex on it's way. Severe weather, although fun for some, can cause major disruptions to our homes, families and community. Here are some ways to best prepare you for the big freeze.
Use social media, TV, radio and news websites that you can access for regular updates on the weather conditions in your area. Keeping up to date can help you find out what schools are closed, if there have been any accidents or road closures due to the conditions.
Consider purchasing some rock salt (or a more environmentally friendly alternative) to melt ice on your driveways and your street. Sand can also be useful to improve traction, as well as snow shovels and other snow removal equipment.
If you aren't on mains gas and require heating fuel to be delivered, make sure you have sufficient amounts
Check your car, or have a mechanic check it for things such as antifreeze levels, oil levels, wiper blades and tyres.
Keep blankets and warm clothes in the car in case of emergency.
Weather strip doors and windows, get extra thick door and window curtains and draught excluders to keep the warmth in.
Ensure gutters are clean, repair any roof leaks and cut away any tree branches that could fall during a wind storm.
Keep your heating equipment well maintained.
Insulate your pipes to avoid freezing. Running water, even at a trickle can also prevent your pipes freezing up.
Ensure all your fuel burning equipment is vented and kept clear. And keep fire extinguishers on hand and make sure everyone knows how to use them.
Find out where your water shut off valves are in the case of a leak.