• Early heatwave warnings

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Information

How Heat Alerts are sent

Heat Alerts will be issued when there is a change in the forecasted hot weather conditions from the national Met Office "Heatwave alert" service.
You will receive a Heat Alert when the alert Level changes from:

  • Level 1 to Level 2 - you need to be prepared
  • Level 3 or Level 4 - you will need to take action

What should you do when you receive a Heat Alert

Stay out of the heat:
  • Keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm.
  • If you have to go out in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat and light scarf.
  • Avoid extreme physical exertion.
  • Wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes.
Cool yourself down:
  • Have plenty of cold drinks, and avoid excess alcohol, caffeine and hot drinks.
  • Eat cold foods, particularly salads and fruit with a high water content take a cool shower, bath or body wash.
  • Sprinkle water over the skin or clothing, or keep a damp cloth on the back of your neck.
Keep your environment cool:
  • Keeping your living space cool is especially important for infants, the elderly or those with chronic health conditions or who can’t look after themselves.
  • Place a thermometer in your main living room and bedroom to keep a check on the temperature.
  • Keep windows that are exposed to the sun closed during the day, and open windows at night when the temperature has dropped.
  • Close curtains that receive morning or afternoon sun, however, care should be taken with metal blinds and dark curtains, as these can absorb heat – consider replacing or putting reflective material in-between them and the window space.
  • Turn off non-essential lights and electrical equipment – they generate heat.
  • Keep indoor plants and bowls of water in the house as evaporation helps cool the air if possible, move into a cooler room, especially for sleeping.
  • Electric fans may provide some relief, if temperatures are below 35°C.
Look out for others:
  • Keep an eye on isolated, elderly, ill or very young people and make sure they are able to keep cool.
  • Ensure that babies, children or elderly people are not left alone in stationary cars.
  • Check on elderly or sick neighbours, family or friends every day during a heatwave be alert and call a doctor or social services if someone is unwell or further help is needed.
  • Close curtains that receive morning or afternoon sun, however, care should be taken with metal blinds and dark curtains, as these can absorb heat – consider replacing or putting reflective material in-between them and the window space.
If you have a health problem:
  • Keep medicines below 25°C or in the refrigerator (read the storage instructions on the packaging).
  • Seek medical advice if you are suffering from a chronic medical condition or taking multiple medications.
If you have a health problem:
  • Try to get help if you feel dizzy, weak, anxious or have intense thirst and headache.
  • Move to a cool place as soon as possible and measure your body temperature.
  • Drink some water or fruit juice to rehydrate rest immediately in a cool place if you have painful muscular spasms (particularly in the legs, arms or abdomen, in many cases after sustained exercise during very hot weather), and drink oral rehydration solutions containing electrolytes.
  • Medical attention is needed if heat cramps last more than one hour.
  • Consult your doctor if you feel unusual symptoms or if symptoms persist.


Key trigger temperatures during a heatwave


Threshold maximum day and night temperatures defined by the Met Office National Severe Weather Warning Service (NSWWS) for the South East are a daytime temperature of 31°C and a night time temperature of 16°C.

Although excess seasonal deaths start to occur at approximately 25°C, for practical reasons the heatwave alert system is based on temperature thresholds where there is a 15 to 20% increased risk of excess deaths.

38.5°C Highest daytime temperature recorded in the UK
In temperatures exceeding 30°C children should not take part in vigorous physical activity and should stay in the shade as much as possible.
Keep medicines stored at temperatures below 25°C or in the refrigerator.
24.5°C Temperature at which any excess deaths may first become apparent.