Coronavirus

Dudley Council the historic capital of the Black Country
Dudley Skyline

The UK is prone to a wide variety of weather extremes, all of which can cause great disruption. Here you will find advice on what to do to be better prepared and guidance on where to go for further information and updates.

The risks

  • Snow.
  • Heavy rain.
  • Gales.
  • Heatwaves.

Potential impacts

  • Drought.
  • Flooding.
  • Danger to life.
  • Increased hospital admissions.
  • Damage to property.
  • Damage to critical infrastructure, e.g. communications and electricity.
  • Travel disruption.
  • Reduced staff numbers.
  • School and public building closures.

What you can do

Before severe weather:

  • Listen to weather forecasts and follow advice given.
  • Have an emergency grab bag ready.
  • Check on vulnerable family, friends and neighbours.
  • Plan any journeys and take a car emergency kit with you.
  • For more information select the links on this page. 

When severe weather is forecast:

  • Notify family and friends of severe weather warnings.
  • Tie down items outside to minimise wind damage.
  • Clear windowsills and close curtains to protect against flying glass.
  • Prepare yourself and your family for loss of utilities.

During severe weather:

  • Stay indoors.
  • Keep pets indoors.
  • Only travel if essential.
  • Never assume that a road has been gritted.
  • If you lose electricity, gas or water contact the relevant service(s).

After severe weather:

  • Check on family and friends and any vulnerable people near to where you live or work.
  • Do not touch any cables that have been blown down.

Hot weather

Whilst most of us enjoy sunny weather, the extreme heat of a heatwave can be seriously damaging to the health, and sometimes even fatal. The main risks are dehydration, heat exhaustion and heatstroke - If you are worried about your health during a heatwave contact NHS 111 or talk to your GP or pharmacist.

Signs of dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke

Dehydration:

Dizziness, rapid heartbeat, rapid breathing, sleepiness, lack of energy, confusion, irritability and / or fainting.

Heat exhaustion:

Headache, dizziness, confusion, loss of appetite, nausea, excessive sweating, pale and clammy skin, cramps in the arms, legs and stomach, fast breathing (and / or pulse), temperature of 38C or above and great thirst.

Heatstroke: 

Not sweating even though hot, temperature of 40C or more, rapid breathing or shortness of breath, confusion, seizure, unresponsiveness, loss of consciousness (in this instance put the person in the recovery position).

If the person is still feeling unwell after 30 minutes of resting in a cool place and drinking plenty of water call 999.

Staying safe in hot weather

To stay safe:

  • keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm.
  • Avoid strenuous activities as much as possible. 
  • Wear light-coloured, loose clothing and apply suncream and wear a hat if outdoors.
  • Drink plenty of cold drinks and avoid excessive amounts of alcohol.
  • Take cool baths or showers.
  • Check on vulnerable family, friends and neighbours.

Keeping pets safe in hot weather

Look after your pets:

  • Make sure they have access to water at all times.
  • Don't shut pets in a conservatory.
  • Don't take dogs a walk in the middle of the day.
  • Never leave animals in a car 

If you see an animal in distress, call 999 or the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.

Cold Weather

Cold weather is very likely in the UK, particularly between the months of December to February. Some people are at increased risk of heart attack, stroke, flu, pneumonia, falls and injuries, hypothermia, depression and dementia when the temperature drops below 8C.

You can help to make sure you stay safe by following the guidance here to help you to stay safe. 

Remember to have your flu vaccine if you are eligible.

Staying safe at home in cold weather

To stay safe at home:

  • Get your heating system checked by a qualified professional.
  • Heat your home to at least 18C, including throughout the night.
  • Insulate pipes to prevent them freezing.
  • Draw your curtains at dusk: keep doors closed to block out draughts.
  • Stay as active as possible.
  • Wear several layers of clothes.
  • Have hot meals and drinks throughout the day.
  • Use a hot water bottle or electric blanket to keep warm in bed - don't use both at the same time. 
  • Be prepared for power failure(s) - keep mobile phones charged.
  • Keep a list of emergency contact numbers
  • Make sure you have enough medication.
  • stock-up on non-perishable foods.

Remember to check on vulnerable family, friends and neighbours.

Staying safe outside in cold weather

To stay safe outside:

  • Keep up to date with weather reports and travel advisories from The MET Office.
  • Tell someone when and where you are going and how likely you will be away from home for.
  • Wear several layers of clothes - wear a hat and scarf and shoes with good grip when outside.
  • Make sure you are visible to other road users.
  • If using public transport check with service providers before leaving your house.

Staying safe when driving in cold weather

To stay safe when driving:

  • Get your car serviced regularly.
  • Plan your route and check for any disruptions.
  • Tell someone your destination and estimated time of arrival - make sure you allow extra time for potential transport disruptions.
  • Make sure you have a car emergency kit.
  • Make sure your tyre pressure is correct and tyre treads are within safe limits.
  • Check your car battery and top up the engine coolant with antifreeze.
  • Check brake discs, fluid and pads.
  • Check fan belt and alternator drive belts are tight.
  • Clean your lights.
  • Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged.
  • Avoid travelling in low visibility.
  • Always carry additional warm clothing in case your car breaks down.

Further resources