Winter (600-337)_1As winter approaches, we asked 2,000 people how they plan to cope with extreme weather conditions. Here are some of their more illuminating ideas, plus some handy advice from us:

1. Get hot under the covers
A significant minority – 12 per cent – are planning to eschew the traditional ‘wear more layers’ or ‘turn up the heating’ routes, and will fight the freeze on a more intimate front.

One person’s bracing solution to combating the cold (‘Stay in bed and have more sex’) summed up a popular theme. Worryingly, another chap’s suggestion on how he’d keep warm (‘WIFE’) makes his poor spouse sound like a human duvet.

However, the prize for innovation goes to the enterprising soul who plans to: ‘stay in the same bed as my gorgeous neighbour’. Hopefully, the neighbour knows about it.

2. Don a ‘beer jacket’
Many people (including half of those aged under 24 in our survey) believe alcohol can keep you warm – but in fact it does the complete opposite.

Remember those homely images of St Bernard dogs carrying a small barrel of brandy through the snow to warm their ailing master? That’s all rubbish. Alcohol actually causes blood vessels to dilate, which in turn cools the body. Drinking to stay warm is basically like putting your hand into a fridge to heat it up. Have a cup of tea instead.

3. Work up a sweat
While quite a few of our surveyed people plan to fight the freeze by simply going to bed with a strong drink (and, in some cases, a neighbour), things aren’t all bad. Refreshingly, the research showed a respectable number – 16 per cent – would use a cold snap as an excuse to get in some aerobic work-outs, press-ups and treadmill-running. Bravo to them. Saves on those heating bills, as well.

How to get ready for winter

Snow, storms and flooding can strike quickly and cause major disruption – but you can easily be prepared by following a few simple steps.

1. Prepare an emergency kit for your home, car and when you’re on the move.

2. Stay informed about bad weather by checking updates from the Met Office.

3. Check on neighbours, family and friends (especially those who live alone) to see if they need help.

4. Read our information on flooding – including prevention, how to cope if it strikes, and what to do afterwards.

5. Download our first aid mobile app. It’s free, and will come in very handy if someone has a slip or accident.