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Helping vulnerable people in bad weather

Some members of the community might be affected more than others in heavy snow – for example, elderly and vulnerable residents may need their neighbours’ help.

neighbours graphicHere’s a checklist of things you should bear in mind – especially during snow events which last for several days:

  • Check on your neighbour - if their curtains are drawn for long periods, if lights are left on or deliveries stack up on doorsteps - these may be signs that something is not right. Plan to help, don't wait for your neighbours to ask.
  • Try to exchange phone numbers - this will allow you to stay in touch frequently, if you are unable to check your neighbour is safe in person.
  • Make sure they have food and drink - 'Good neighbours' could also offer to go shopping for vulnerable neighbours, if needed. Remember, Community Meals and other similar services may not be able to operate during heavy snowfall. Consider inviting your neighbour over for a meal if it is safe to do so, or bring hot food to them at home.
  • Make sure they have other items - think about what a vulnerable resident might need, if they are snowed in for several days. For instance - a battery-powered radio, first aid kit and their prescription medications. Ask if they are feeling in good health and consider checking their smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and if their heating and water are working.

Age UK provides important information on how elderly people can prepare for the winter.