Friday morning headlines – snow, wintry showers and strong winds

20170113_105255It’s been snowing in Norwich for the last hour or so and it’s settling now – the photo
shows the wintry scene outside County Hall just before 11am this morning.

The gritters were out in force across the county last night and this morning. They did back-to-back runs from early evening yesterday and went out again at 3am this morning – that’s a total of around nine hours of gritting per gritter truck, and they were spreading the maximum amount of salt they can. The roads on our gritting routes that I saw this morning looked in good shape, hopefully this is true across the county and people’s journeys this morning weren’t too difficult.

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Get prepared ahead of predicted wintry and stormy weather in Norfolk

We’re advising everyone to keep a close eye on the weather forecast over the next few days and be ready to react, as stormy and wintry weather is expected to arrive in the county from tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon.

The Met Office is warning that the east of England including most parts of Norfolk could get some snow between tomorrow and Saturday, with a chance of it settling and causing disruption to travel.

In addition to the prospect of snow, strong winds and low temperatures are also forecast over the next few days, with wind chill making it feel even colder. Road surface temperatures are due to dip below freezing on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night and therefore any rain or wintry showers that fall are likely to freeze, which could lead to icy roads, pavements and cycle paths and make journeys treacherous.norfolk-winter-launch-060

Norfolk County Council’s gritting teams are going out at 7pm tonight (Wednesday) on all
usual county gritting routes and are standing by to go out again at 3am if necessary as road surface temperatures are due to fall to around freezing across Norfolk overnight, with rain and sleet likely tomorrow. The gritters are ready to go out as often as required over the next few days.

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Simple but potentially very effective – the key to keep vulnerable adults safe

Winter can be particularly tough for older and vulnerable people. It’s a sad but probably unsurprising fact that more people die in the winter than at any other time of year and there were more than 7,000 admissions to hospital in 2012/13 as a result of people falling over on snow and ice.

There’s lots of very sound advice available about what people can do to reduce their risks of falling ill or simply falling – we’ve listed some top tips at the bottom of this blog post.

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Nona Hall, 89, and her son Steve. Nona has a ‘Key to Keep You Safe’ key fob after she had a couple of falls. Nona likes the scheme for the security it gives her.

Sometimes however you can do everything in your power and still be vulnerable though, and that’s when a brilliant new scheme really comes into its own.

The ‘Key to Keep You Safe’ scheme is a really simple idea from the Norfolk Safeguarding Adults Board. Ten thousand key fobs have been produced which have the 24-hour Norfolk County Council phone number to report adult social services emergencies (0344 800 8020) printed on one side. On the other side, there is space for an ‘in case of emergencies’ number, which could belong to a relative or friend, to be filled in.

The key fobs are targeted at vulnerable adults who may have, for example, decreased mobility, poor memory or who may get easily distracted and confused. They can be attached to a key ring and if people carrying one become ill, distressed or have a fall, the key fob will allow members of the public to quickly get in touch with both a personal contact and professionals who will be able to help. Continue reading