Main content
Consumer Skills
16th December 2014

Baby it’s cold outside!

Now the weather has turned frosty and people are pulling out the winter woollies, the Consumer Council is urging consumers to get a copy of its ‘Weather the Winter’ leaflet to be winter ready in the event of severe weather.

The Consumer Council’s pocket-sized ‘Weather the Winter’ guide could be your fairy godmother this Christmas with helpful tips and contacts should you need them during the winter. Simple steps can make things easier like knowing who to call if bad weather disrupts your travel plans to make it home for Christmas, what to do if your power cuts out just as you are about to put the turkey in the oven or who to call if your pipes freeze or burst.

Aodhan O’Donnell, Interim Chief Executive of the Consumer Council explains, “In the last few years we have experienced heavy snow, flooding and freezing conditions, which can not only disrupt Christmas plans but could cause damage to homes. Knowing what to do in the event of severe weather can help make these situations less stressful.

“The Consumer Council is advising households to get a free copy of its ‘Weather the Winter’ guide which outlines essential contact numbers you may need during the winter months. It also includes helpful tips such as knowing where your stop tap/valve is and how to turn it off, what you’re entitled to if you experience travel delays, your rights when shopping online and what to do if the electricity goes off.

Aodhan concluded “At this time of year we would also encourage consumers with a disability or individual needs to register their details on either the Critical Care or Customer Care Registers offered by water, electricity and gas companies. These registers provide additional assistance and services to registered consumers.”

Free copies of the Consumer Council’s ‘Weather the Winter’ leaflet will be available at local libraries, Citizens Advice Bureaus, independent advice centres and constituency offices.  Consumers can download their free copy at or request a copy by contacting the Consumer Council on 0800 121 6022, via Twitter (@ConsumerCouncil) or Facebook (Consumer Council Northern Ireland).