With no sign of a cool down for at least the next four weeks forecasters expect this to be one of, if not the, hottest summers on record. Charities and local authorities are reiterating warnings to take extra care with extreme heat bringing a risk of serious illness or even death.
A Government health alert across southern England was this week ramped up to one stage below ‘national emergency’. The level-3 heat watch advisory, issued by the Met Office with Public Health England (PHE), will remain in place until Tuesday night.
What Is Level 3?
Level three is the third highest of four heatwave levels issed by the Met Office.
Level 1 is be prepared and is typically in place between 1st June and 15th September. There is normally no action needed.
Level 2 is that a heatwave is forecasted in that there is a high chance that an average temperature of 30degC by day and 15degC overnight will occur over the next two to three days. These temperatures can have a significant effect on people’s health if they last for at least two days and the night in between. Although immediate action is unnecessary, it is recommended that you stay tuned to the weather forecast on the radio, TV or the Met Office. If you’re planning to travel, check the forecast at your destination.
Level 3 is when a heatwave is happening. This alert is triggered when the Met Office confirms there will be heatwave temperatures in one or more regions. Follow the instructions for a level 2 alert and advisories from the NHS.
Level 4 is a severe heatwave. This is the highest heatwave alert in Britain. It is raised when a heatwave is severe and/or prolonged. It is an emergency situation. At level 4, the health risks from a heatwave can affect fit and healthy people, and not just those in high-risk groups.
The Vulnerabe At Risk
This means that temperatures are very likely to rise to levels that increase the risk of ill health among vulnerable adults, particularly older people and those with long term conditions. People with breathing conditions such as asthma or COPD may be more affected when there are high air pollution levels together with hot weather. The Met Office, in conjunction with PHE, is issuing the following heatwave advice:
Stay out of the sun. Keep your home as cool as possible – shading windows and shutting them during the day may help. Open them when it is cooler at night. Keep drinking fluids. If there’s anybody you know, for example an older person living on their own, who might be at special risk, make sure they know what to do.
Rough Sleepers SWEP Support
On Monday, West Berkshire Council activated their severe weather emergency protocol (SWEP) due to the expected heatwave. It will give rough sleepers access to more help and support while it remains so hot.
Rough sleepers will be able to get out of the sun at Two Saints in Newbury with indoor shelter, cold drinks and a shower available between 11am and 3pm. It’s open to rough sleepers who have nowhere indoors to rest and who will be at risk if they continue to sleep rough. WBC advises:
Anyone wishing to access the support offered under our severe weather emergency protocol should come along to our Market Street offices between 10.00am and 2.00pm to see how we can help.