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Severe weather advice

During and after severe weather, some of our services may be affected.  This is usually because of accessibility and safety (vehicles not being able to get to places or our staff not being able to travel or delayed).

We do our best to provide all services as usual but sometimes the more essential and urgent services take priority and this can mean other services you receive are disrupted.  We do our best to keep services running and our priority is always to support our more vulnerable residents.

We thank you for your patience.

Keeping up to date

During working hours this website, and our Facebook page and Twitter will keep you up-to-date with any disruption to services, such as bin collections.

Bin collections

The waste services team will make a decision about sending crews out to collect refuse and recycling early each morning. This will depend on road and footpath conditions. Manoeuvring a 26 tonne refuse truck in icy conditions is very dangerous, especially on narrow roads or where there are parked cars. We cannot use snow chains. You can find out more about how we collect your bins during severe weather on our winter weather advice page.

For information about disruption to bin collections, you can sign up for waste text alerts. To sign up to the alerts, send a text message to 60777 stating: 'DBC WASTE your house number your postcode'   For example, DBC WASTE 80 HP4 2DR

Your initial text will be charged at your standard network rate (it may be charged outside your inclusive text package). You will not be charged to receive the alerts.

Roads and gritting

Gritting is the responsibility of Hertfordshire County Council. For information on which routes will be salted, along with winter driving advice:

Find out when Hertfordshire's roads are salted as it happens on www.hertfordshire.gov.uk or by following @herts_highways on Twitter or RSS Feed direct to your computer or mobile phone.

Flooding

Prepare

Visit the Government website for more information on preparing for a flood.

For flood warnings, go to the Environment Agency website.

We do not supply sandbags. If you want to be prepared, you can buy sandbags from local builders merchants and DIY stores.

Report it

Where there is flooding and it is due to:

  • Burst banks of rivers or streams, please report it to the Environment Agency on 0845 988 1188.
  • Burst canal banks, please contact the Canal and River Trust.
  • Blocked road drains and gullies, please report it to Hertfordshire County Council Highways on 0300 123 4047.
  • Blocked drains in the main sewers, please report it to Thames Water on 0800 316 9800.
  • Burst pipes and water mains in council or council leasehold properties, please report it to our Housing Maintenance team on 01442 228000 or 0800 018 6050.

Insurance

If your home has been flooded, Flood Re is a joint Government and insurance initiative aimed at making insurance available and affordable. For more information, please download the  Flood Re insuring against flooding leaflet (PDF 161KB).

Fallen trees

Please report fallen or dangerous trees in public areas to us on 01442 228000 (ask for 'trees') during our opening hours of 8am to 6.30pm, Monday to Friday.

Outside these hours for any trees fallen onto highways or footpaths please report it to Hertfordshire County Council Highways on 0300 123 4047.  

For privately owned trees, the landowner should contact a competent tree work contractor. Find an approved contractor from the Arboricultural Association website.

Precautions to cope with severe weather

Snow tips

  • If possible, clear snow and ice in the morning when it is still loose.
  • Use salt, not water as the water will refreeze and possibly turn to black ice. A tablespoon of salt should cover a square metre.
  • Ash or sand is a good alternative to help with grip, but will not prevent refreezing.
  • Cover your paths in salt before nightfall to stop freezing overnight.
More advice on clearing snow from pathways. 

Be prepared by having:

  • A supply of torches and/or camping lanterns for emergency lighting
  • A camping gas cooker or other means of cooking if you rely entirely on electricity
  • A battery-powered radio (and replacement batteries) to hear local radio bulletins
  • Adequate insurance to cover your property.

When severe weather is forecast:

  • Do not travel unless your journey is absolutely necessary.
  • Stow away garden furniture and remove loose articles from outside the house as they might cause damage if blown around
  • Store a few filled containers with fresh water for drinking purposes, especially for young children and for infant feeds in case water supplies fail.
  • Check your neighbours to see if they need help.

When severe weather strikes:

  • Listen to the local radio and check the Met Office’s website for advice.
  • Never open deep freezers until electricity is fully restored, cover with newspaper and blankets for extra insulation. If food thaws out do not refreeze it, use it straight away.
  • Listen to the advice given and do not travel.
  • Keep warm and eat regularly, even cold food will give you energy.
  • If your electricity supply fails, turn off all major appliances, particularly electric fires and cookers, until power is restored.
  • Council tenants, to report an emergency repair please call 0800 018 6050.

Weather forecasts

To help you to plan ahead, keep up to date with the latest forecasts from the Met Office.

Practical help and advice 

Contact HertsHelp for advice and practical help to cope with the cold. HertsHelp is a network of hundreds of community organisations working together. They can help you to get the practical support, guidance and information you need to get through the winter. Call 0300 123 4044 or email info@hertshelp.net

Assistance for elderly or disabled people

If you are concerned about an elderly or disabled person in your area, please contact Hertfordshire County Council Adult Services on 0300 123 4042.

Other useful information is available from Age UK.

Cold Weather Payments

During a very cold winter, the costs of heating can quickly add up. If you’re receiving certain benefits, you may be able to get a Cold Weather Payment for each period of very cold weather in your area.

Find out if you qualify for help this winter.