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Heat wave, hot weather and drought

In the event of severe weather please refer to the live updates on the Environment Agency and Met Office websites in relevant sections below.
You can also follow our latest updates on Follow updates on TwitterTwitter and Follow updates on FacebookFacebook, and look out for service updates on our homepage.
Other useful information is also included on our webpage below.

See also:

Contact us in an emergency:

On other websites:

Heat wave and hot weather advice

Many of us are looking forward to the summer; looking forward to sunny afternoons, holidays, ice creams and trips to the beach, but when it gets too hot for too long there are health risks, especially for the very young, the elderly and the seriously ill.

When temperatures rise to high levels (or become uncomfortable for you) it is good to be prepared for what to do and what precautions you should start to take.

These tips will help you to keep cool and comfortable and reduce health risks:

  • shut windows and pull down the shades when it is hotter outside. If it's safe, open them for ventilation when it is cooler
  • avoid the heat: stay out of the sun and don't go out between 11am and 3pm (the hottest part of the day) if you're vulnerable to the effects of heat
  • keep rooms cool by using shades or reflective material outside the windows. If this isn't possible, use light-coloured curtains and keep them closed (metallic blinds and dark curtains can make the room hotter)
  • have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool water
  • drink cold drinks regularly, such as water and fruit juice. Avoid tea, coffee and alcohol
  • stay tuned to the weather forecasts on the radio or TV, or on the Met Office website
  • plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies, such as food, water and any medications you need
  • identify the coolest room in the house so you know where to go to keep cool
  • wear loose, cool clothing, and a hat if you go outdoors and remember to use sun screen
  • check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves

The following weblinks offer help and advice for what to do during very hot weather:

More information can be found about heat waves and how to cope with them on the following external website links:

Other external websites with health advice on what to do in severe weather (hot or cold, wet or dry):

Other food safety advice:

See also:

Other useful info:

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Drought advice

Ways to save water in the home:

  • take a shower instead of a bath, and if using a power shower keep your showers as short as possible
  • only fill kettles with as much water as you need - it saves on your energy bills as well
  • don't leave the tap running all the time when you brush your teeth, turn it on and off as needed
  • make sure you have a full load each time you use the washing machine or dishwasher
  • use a bucket and sponge to wash the car, rather than a hose
  • fit a 'Hippo' bag to your toilet cistern - it can save up to two litres of water every time you flush
  • repair dripping taps and toilet stopcocks - they can waste up to a litre of water every hour
  • wash vegetables in a bowl of water, rather than 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 ones which use less water
  • when running your hot water tap, use a bottle to save the 'cold' (or cool) water that comes out first before the hot water arrives and use it to water your indoor or garden plants

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 in the form of manure or compost to your soil to retain moisture
  • water 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
  • try ice cubes in your hanging baskets as a clever way of watering

See also:

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