ONE in five people believe donning a “beer jacket” or taking a tipple can keep out the cold, a new study has revealed.
A poll by the British Red Cross shows that the figure rises to almost 50 per cent among 18-24 year olds and 43 per cent of Londoners – the highest percentage in the country.
However, more than one in ten people said they would opt to snuggle up with a pet or loved one to keep warm.
The survey was carried out ahead of tomorrow’s launch of the Red Cross’s Get Ready for Winter campaign – a nationwide drive to encourage people to stay safe and prepare for severe weather.
Simon Lewis, head of British Red Cross emergency response, said: “It is a concern so many people appear to believe the myth that alcohol can keep you warm.
“It does the complete opposite. Alcohol causes blood vessels to dilate which cools the body and so drinking to warm up is not a good idea and can be dangerous.”
Snowfall, ice and heavy rain are expected to threaten the UK throughout winter and can lead to flooding, road closures, dangerous driving conditions, and power cuts.
The research shows that although young people are the most worried about being caught in extreme weather, nearly 60 per cent admitted they are not prepared for it at all.
More generally, the majority of people surveyed did not have many of the key items to help in bad weather – such as a hard copy of contact numbers, a shovel for clearing snow or a radio they could use in a blackout.
Lewis said: “The clocks go back this weekend so it’s a great chance to use that extra hour to make sure you’d know what to do if hit by bad weather.
“There are simple steps everyone can take to help minimise the risk to themselves and others should the worst happen.”
Preparing an emergency kit at home and for the car can make a difference – being sure to include items like bottled water, contact numbers, insurance details, a torch, spare blanket and warm clothes.
The British Red Cross has a raft of advice online on how to plan and prepare for severe weather at home and while on the move this winter.
A free first aid app is also available to download.
For more tips and information click here.
Words by: Nic Jones