What is the risk of extreme cold weather to Warwickshire?

Cold weather and snow can last for several days or even weeks, causing travel disruption, damage to power lines and water supplies, school closures, and risking the health of the elderly and vulnerable. We will prepare plans to look after the most vulnerable communities, such as the homeless or residents of sheltered accommodation.

In March 2013 temperatures dropped below freezing for six consecutive days, and up to 75cm of snow fell in some areas. There were also notable cold spells in February/March 2018 and December 2022 when the temperature at Wellesbourne fell to -11.2 °C.

How could extreme cold weather
affect you and your community?

Extreme cold weather can include low temperatures, ice and snow.

  • Risk to life
  • Casualties/ injury (slips and falls)
  • Health impacts on the elderly and vulnerable with extreme temperatures
  • Disruption to utilities (electricity, gas, and water)
  • Damage to property, businesses, and agricultural land
  • Widespread structural damage
  • Risk to life of livestock
  • Flooding of properties
  • Transport disruption (air, sea, road, rail) long delays
  • Potential stranded passengers on transport routes
  • Strain on emergency responder organisations
  • Dangerous driving conditions (spray and standing water/ice/hail/snow/fog/wind)
  • Communities becoming cut off due to flooded access routes/ heavy snow
  • Changes in working practices and daily routines to adapt to the conditions

We can all be better prepared to
respond and recover from extreme cold weather

Follow this guidance to help you stay safe and well during extreme cold weather:


Stay tuned into the UK forecast

Download the Met Office app so you can keep an eye on the forecast to understand the likelihood of any impactful weather in your area.


Look after your home

Check daytime room temperature and maintain it at 18 °C (65 °F). The bedroom night-time temperature should be the same or a little warmer.

Insulate pipes to stop them from freezing. Know how to switch off your water supply if pipes should burst. For further advice check out Severn Trent’s advice.


Plan ahead before going away

If you are going to be away from home for a few days, it’s best to turn off your water at the stop tap so that if a pipe does freeze or burst while you’re away, any damage will be limited.

Make sure your heating comes on at regular intervals, even if you’re out, to maintain some warmth around your property. If you are going away during winter and leaving your house or flat unoccupied then leave the heating on ‘low’ to stop freezing pipes, ask a friend or neighbour to check in occasionally for any issues such as a burst pipe, especially in bad weather.


Ensure you have a small stock of food, medicines and other supplies in case you can’t get out for a few days. Check the ‘use by’ dates each winter


Check that you have warm clothing easily available


Check on those you know who might be at risk


Make sure your car is winter ready

Check tyre treads and pressures, coolant and screen wash levels, battery condition and wiper blades. Check the Met Office website for further advice.

How to prepare
your business

Warwickshire LRF

What is being done to become
better prepared?

  • We will prepare plans (such as the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol) to look after the most vulnerable communities, such as the homeless or residents of sheltered accommodation.
  • The Met Office will issue cold weather warnings, and relevant advice where appropriate.
  • Health services have plans in place to deal with increased demand.

Warwickshire Schools closure information;


Warwickshire County Council Gritting information:


The public, community and voluntary organisations can sign up to receive cold weather health alerts. It is intended as an early warning system when the temperatures are likely to impact on the health and wellbeing of the population. The forecasts are issued jointly by the UK Health Security Agency and the Met Office. For more information and to sign up, go to:


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