Town hall weather warning

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Council chiefs are urging residents to stay warm and safe and to look after vulnerable family and neighbours, as the North West braces for imminent colder weather.

The appeal follows an announcement by Public Health England and the Met Office of a Level 2 Cold Weather Alert.

A Level 2 alert means that within the next 48 hours, there is a 60 per cent chance of severe weather, with average temperatures of 2C or below.

There is also the possibility of wintry showers, overnight frost and a chance of icy patches.

Weather warnings prompting awareness of potential severe weather are currently in place across much of the North West.

Residents are reminded that a limited supply of Winter Warmer packs is being offered to older or vulnerable members of the community.

Each free pack contains cold weather essentials and important information about keeping healthy throughout winter. They’re available for collection from the Mansion House, Victoria Park, City Road.

Top tips to prepare for colder weather:

* Look out for friends and family who may be vulnerable to the cold and ensure they have access to warm food and drinks and are managing to heat their homes adequately.

* Try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18C, particularly if you are not mobile, have long term illness or are 65 or over.

* Stay tuned for weather forecasts, ensure you are stocked up with food and medications in advance, have deliveries or ask a friend to help.

* Take weather into account when planning your activity over the following days.

* If eligible seek entitlements and benefits such as Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments, which are available to some.

* If you meet the criteria register for priority service with your energy and water suppliers.

* Avoid exposing yourself to cold or icy outdoor conditions if you are at a higher risk of cold related illness or falls.

* Discuss with friends and neighbours about clearing snow and ice from in front of your house and public walkways nearby.

For lots more useful advice visit www.nhs.uk/staywell or call the St Helens Cold Weather Advice Line on 08000 355 878.