28 January 2015

Posted by Discount Insurance on Wednesday, January 28, 2015
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Experts have warned that more cold weather is on its way across the UK, including snow and blizzard conditions in many regions.

So here is our guide to staying safe and making the most of the snow! 

Prepare your home

When the weather is bad outside, it is important that you have warm and cosy home to seek sanctuary in.

Check your pipes for cracks or blockages. Pipes can freeze at this time of year and then expand and burst, leading to potential water damage.

When the weather turns arctic, It is easy to forget about outside space, but it is a good idea to secure all loose outside items, such as bins and garden furniture, in the case of blizzards or strong winds. You should also check that any outside lights are working to help avoid accidents.

It is important to ensure that your boiler is in good working order before the wintry months begin. You should try and get it fully serviced before the cold snap truly sets in. Do not attempt to do this yourself however, always hire a professional.

Bad weather can often lead to loss of electricity. Do you know where your supply of torches and candles are in the event of a power cut? 

Make sure your car is ready

Expert advice states that you should avoid travelling in the snow wherever possible, but if you absolutely must go out in your car there are a few things you can do to make your journey safer.

Take your time before you leave the house, make sure your mobile phone is fully charged, in case of emergency, and put on some warm clothes, layer up - how about a hat and some driving gloves too?

It is also a good idea to put a blanket on the back seat of your car, so that if you do break down you have something to wrap up warm in.

A first aid kit, torch and ice scraper may also come in handy. 

Dress appropriately 

Make sure that you dress appropriately for the weather, both when outside and inside your home. 
You may already know that layered clothing is the key to staying warm. But use the C.O.L.D. mnemonic  to help you remember these important tips:

C - Clean: Keep your clothes clean. You may be surprised to know that dirt and sweat can reduce your clothes' warmth.

O - Overheating: Avoid overheating by adjusting your layers accordingly, sweating from being too warm dampens your skin and clothes, and could lead to further chill.

L - Loose Layers: Tight-fitting clothing can restrict your circulation, good blood flow is essential to staying warm.

D - Dry: Wet clothing is the worst possible thing you can wear in the cold. Avoid absorbent cotton fabrics and keep your neck area loose to allow moisture to escape.

Keep the kids entertained

You may decide that it’s best to stay inside completely during snowy weather, in which case, get comfy – declare a family pyjama day! Grab sheets, towels, blankets to build a fort - a special nook where children can play, or do drawings and colouring in.

Read together – re-read your child’s favourite story, or dive into a new adventure. Failing that, put something weather appropriate such as Snow White or Frozen on the television.

If you wish to let your children play outside, then wrap them up warm, and have fun together building a snow man, or by having a snowball fight – make sure you supervise younger children at all times though.  

Make your own cocoa 

Nothing will cheer you up in cold weather like a warm drink. If you are tired of tea and coffee, or want to make something more fun for the kids, then why not try making your own cocoa?

1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out
1 cinnamon stick
1 litre/1¾ pints milk
150g/5½oz plain chocolate, chopped into small pieces
sugar, to taste
freshly grated nutmeg, for dusting

Preparation method

Heat the vanilla pod and seeds, cinnamon stick and milk in a saucepan until boiling.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate pieces, stirring until the chocolate melts.

Whisk the hot chocolate vigorously until frothy on top and add sugar, to taste. Serve with a dusting of nutmeg.

Add mini-marshmallows or grated chocolate on top for an extra pick-me-up!

Now may also be best time to check that you have full homeinsurance and breakdown cover – call 0800 294 4522 for a quick quote today!