Hot weather advice: Hot weather, heatwaves and drought

In the event of severe weather: please refer to live updates on the Weather health alert service (from UK Health Security Agency, UKHSA), Met Office website and Environment Agency website. For council service updates see: A&W on Facebook, A&W on Twitter. See also the useful tips and advice below:

Hot weather and heatwaves

Most of us enjoy warm sunny weather, but when it gets too hot for too long there are health risks, particularly for the very young, the elderly and people with chronic or long-term medical conditions.

Here are some tips for staying cool and comfortable in the heat:

  • stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm
  • wear light, loose-fitting clothes
  • stay inside in the coolest rooms in your home
  • if you go outside, stay in the shade where possible, wear a hat, and remember to use sunscreen
  • keep windows closed and curtains drawn while it is cooler inside than out; open them for ventilation when the temperature outside drops
  • take cool showers or baths, and splash your face and neck regularly with cool water
  • drink water or fruit juice regularly throughout the day to avoid dehydration
  • avoid tea, coffee and alcohol
  • look after others, particularly those at greater risk and the elderly

Beach and swimming safety:

For further health advice:

For further weather advice:


Here are some small changes to make at home to help save water:

  • take a shower instead of a bath, and try to keep it as short as possible
  • only fill kettles with as much water as you need - this will help you save on your energy bills, too
  • turn off your tap while you brush your teeth
  • make sure you have a full load before you use your dishwasher or washing machine
  • fix dripping taps or toilet stopcocks - they can waste up to a litre of water an hour
  • wash your car with a bucket and sponge rather than a hose
  • fit a save-a-flush bag in your toilet cistern - it can save a litre of water every flush
  • wash vegetables in a bowl of water, rather than under a running tap
  • wash up using a bowl rather than filling the sink with water
  • ensure pipes are lagged in winter to avoid bursts
  • when buying a new dishwasher or washing machine, choose one which uses less water
  • use a container to collect the water that first comes out of the tap while waiting for the water to warm up or cool down, and use it to water your plants

Easy ways to save water in the garden:

  • use a water butt and rain diverter to collect rainwater for use in the garden
  • add organic matter such as manure or compost to your soil to retain moisture
  • water your garden early in the morning or later in the evening to stop evaporation
  • let the grass grow longer in dry periods, it will stay greener
  • spike your lawn to help water soak in
  • apply a mulch to reduce evaporation from the soil
  • weed regularly to stop weeds competing with your plants for water
  • water directly around the roots of plants
  • leave grass cuttings on the lawn after mowing
  • add ice cubes to your hanging baskets instead of watering

For more ideas, see the:

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Page last updated: 04 March 2024

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