This page aims to collate helpful information to help you be prepared for winter and its unpredictable weather.
Severe weather can cause disruption to Council services and the wellbeing of people.
You can see if we have any notable service disruptions on our current service disruptions webpage.
For updates on weather, forecasts and warnings, go to the Met Office website. For updates focused on our area locally, go to the North Kesteven District Council Facebook page or the North Kesteven District Council Twitter account.
Sometimes schools have to close due to bad weather. To find out which schools have been affected, you can see a list of updates on the Lincolnshire County Council School Closure page. Alternatively you can tune in to BBC Radio Lincolnshire (94.9 FM & 104.7 FM), LincsFM (102.2 FM) or check the updated list on the LincsFM website.
You can find a map of road closures and possible delays on the One.Network website.
Driving in severe weather
- Do not travel unless absolutely necessary
- Allow plenty of time for your journey and at least 10 minutes to defrost your vehicle
- Clear all windows of snow and ice using a scraper and de-icer
- Use a cigarette lighter to warm a key for a frozen lock - don't breathe on the lock, as the moisture will condense and freeze
- Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged for all journeys. You should also carry a torch, a first-aid kit, a tow rope, blankets, a warm coat, a pair of boots, jump leads, a snow shovel, a warning triangle, an old sack or rug (to put under wheels if you do get stuck) and water repellent spray
- Always put safety before punctuality when bad weather closes in!
Gritting and clearing snow
You can see a map of gritting routes on the Lincolnshire County Council website. The Lincolnshire County Council website also contains information on grit bins and snow clearing.
Large refuse collection vehicles suffer the same problems as other vehicles on icy roads, making it dangerous for members of the public and our staff to have these vehicles on the road.
During severe winter weather, assessments are made to establish if it's safe for collection and street cleaning crews to carry out their normal duties. If there are no concerns, crews proceed with collection and cleaning duties where possible.
If there is a delay or suspension to our bin collections, you can find out more information on our current service disruptions webpage.
Please note that our refuse vehicles are considerably bigger than a car. Things such as stopping distances and access to residential estates can be easily affected by the weather. We may make decisions on collection delays or suspensions if we believe there is a risk that our vehicles could become an additional hazard.
Stay warm in your home
Keeping the heating on in winter is really important for keeping warm and well. Sometimes simply sitting or sleeping in cold rooms can cause existing medical conditions to get worse. This can increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes and other life threatening illnesses.
Make sure your home is heated to at least 18°C and wear lots of thinner layers. This will keep you warmer than one thick layer. Try not to sit still for more than an hour - take regular breaks to make a hot drink and move around a bit.
You can find more information and advice on our keeping warm and saving energy webpages.
Protecting your property
Here are eight top tips for being prepared for severe weather provided by the Met Office.
- Know what to do in a power cut. It's now really simple to get in touch with your Electricity Distribution Network Operator - just call 105.
- Ensure you're insured. Sometimes no amount of planning and preparation can prevent the weather damaging your property. Buildings insurance offers peace of mind, so ensure your policy is up to date and covers what you need it to.
- Avoid flying garden furniture. When high winds are forecast, remember that some everyday items in the garden can become 'missiles'. Most winters we see pictures of airborne trampolines and garden furniture.
- Check your roof. Before it gets windy it's also worth checking for loose tiles, slates and flashing and consider removing dead branches from old trees.
- Clear your guttering. As leaves start to fall, there’s a risk that wind will blow leaves into your gutters and drainpipes will get filled up. If this builds up, the water will go back into the guttering and leak into the roof and sides of your house.
- Trim up. To avoid build-up of leaves in the guttering, the best thing to do is to prune your trees before winter really kicks in. This can also help with avoiding snow building up on the trees, which with it brings the risk of damage from broken branches.
- Don't leave yourself open to frozen and burst pipes. It's important to make sure water pipes and water tanks in the loft are insulated with good quality lagging. This will not only protect from freezing but it will help insulate your hot water system and save your money.
- Check your flood risk. Check if your home is at risk of flooding, and sign up for free flood warnings on the floods destroy website.
Be bright, be seen
Wearing high visibility clothing (which can be purchased from many retailers) can make it easier for other road users, especially drivers, to see pedestrians and cyclists. High-visibility clothing is made of fluorescent material with added reflective tape or shapes.
Fluorescent colours appear to glow, increasing daytime visibility, with the effect being stronger in poor light conditions such as in fog or towards dusk. However, fluorescent colours don't show up in the dark. At night, light from sources such as car headlights bounces off the reflective areas to make the tape glow, increasing night time visibility.