The Met Office will put out warnings regarding severe weather which can be found on their website and can be heard on the radio and TV. The information from the Met Office includes Flash Warnings of Severe Weather or Extreme Weather Warnings. These are warnings for immediate weather problems. Advance warnings of severe weather and advisory information of severe or extreme weather give a longer warning time. Current information on this can be found on the Met Office weather warnings website.
Flooding can occur anywhere, even if you live inland or away from watercourses, because the drainage system - whether open watercourses or pipes - can be overwhelmed by the amount of water it is expected to carry
When the ground is saturated even small extra amounts of rainfall will have difficulty draining away from gardens and enclosed spaces.
It is the responsibility of the owners to take appropriate action to protect their property from flooding. Sandbags can be bought from your local DIY shop.
Floodline telephone service - 0845 988 1188 (Minicom 0845 602 6340).
General enquiry line - 0845 933 3111
Emergency hotline - 0800 807 060
The council's Winter Maintenance Plan aims to ensure that the highways network remain operational throughout periods of freezing ice and snow. Precautionary gritting (salting) is carried out at carefully judged times before freezing occurs to prevent frost and ice forming on road surfaces. If snow accumulates then snow ploughs may be used to clear roads prior to gritting
There is no law preventing members of the public from clearing the snow and ice on the pavement outside their properties, or pathways to their property or public spaces. Provided they act reasonably and carefully, and use ordinary common sense, it is very unlikely that a member of the public would face any legal liability, should anyone have an accident. People who walk in these areas have responsibilities to be careful themselves.
Keeping warm is a vital part of keeping well in the winter particularly for older people, the young and those with chronic illness, as more people get ill and the number of deaths rise. The Keep Warm Keep Well campaign offers advice on remaining healthy in cold weather and includes information on energy efficiency, grants and benefits available for the financially disadvantaged and vulnerable.
Cold weather, especially extreme cold, can be dangerous for everyone. According to the government there are over 25,000 excess deaths each winter in this country, many of which are preventable. Preventative action taken at this stage can greatly benefit vulnerable groups during the cold weather.
Be a good neighbour and be community spirited. Check on those around you, particularly the vulnerable that may need help or assistance
Although forecasting systems have improved, sudden weather changes still occur and motorists should be aware that: it takes time for the salt to become effective after roads are gritted and rain can wash salt off roads leaving them prone to re-icing. In severe weather even salt will not prevent roads from icing up. For advice on driving in winter see GOV.UK driving in adverse weather.
The Environment Agency is responsible for monitoring, reporting and acting to reduce the impact of drought on the environment and has plans for England and Wales.
The Thames Water drought website has information and advice on saving water.
In a severe heatwave the body can overheat and dehydrate, leading to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Symptoms include: headaches, nausea and intense thirst, sleepiness, hot red and dry skin, a sudden rise in temperature, confusion, aggression, convulsions and loss of consciousness.
If you are worried about what to do, either for yourself or for someone you know who you think might be at risk, contact the NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or visit their NHS Direct website.
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