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Severe weather

Extreme weather conditions may occur at any time of the year and can range from heat waves to snow fall and icy conditions.
It is important to be aware that during these periods of extreme weather.
Drawing of a cloud, raindrops and lightning on left, drawing of a sun on the right, with a dial hand in the middle

Cold weather​

You can find Met Office advice on getting ready for winter, including looking after your health, protecting your home and precautions to take when travelling during the winter. 
Newham operates a Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) to provide emergency accommodation to rough sleepers to prevent deaths on the streets caused by extreme weather conditions. 

The SWEP is activated when the Met Office predicts one night of temperatures below 0 degrees anywhere in London. 
​​Find out about homelessness prevention and advice​ including what to do if you're concerned about someone who is rough sleeping

Heavy rain


Hot weather

You can find useful advice on how to prevent heat-related illness and death on the Government's website.
For more information on how to cope in hot weather, visit the NHS Choices website​.

If anyone is concerned about a rough sleeper then they should be encouraged to contact Streetlink by calling 0300 500 0914 or via their website​

Severe weather warnings

In the event of a Level 3 Heatwave 

A level 3 heatwave alert means the temperature will be high  (>30C) for at least 2 consecutive days.

It is important to:

  • Stay hydrated - drink plenty of still fluids, like cold water, tea, milk or coffee. Avoid alcohol and limit fruit juices to 150ml a day. 
  • Stay cool - keep in the shade, or seek out air-conditioned spaces. If near water, splash water on yourself or take cool baths of showers. 
  • Look out for those who may struggle in the heat, like babies and young children, the old and those with long-term conditions like asthma, COPD, heart disease or diabetes. Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able tso look after themselves. 
  • If you need to go out, use sun-screen, especially for children and babies, wear a hat and sunglasses. Wear loose fitting clothing
  • At home, draw curtains or blinds and keep windows closed in the strongest heat. When cooler, open windows to create a through draft.  Pick out the coolest room so you know where to be to stay cool. 
  • Avoid leaving a child or pet unaccompanied in a vehicle.  
  • How to cool yourself down: 
  • have plenty of cold drinks, and avoid excess alcohol, caffeine and hot drinks 
  • NEW for 2019 - Specifically highlight the Refill London -​ 
  • 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°
  • People who may be at risk from the heat include
  • Children and babies
  • Older people and people with long-term conditions specially breathing and circulation, mobility issues, people with drug and alcohol problems and mental health issues. 
  • People who carry out manual work, work outdoors or do sport. 
  • If you are worried about an uncomfortably hot house that is affecting your health or someone else's, get medical advice.
If you are concerned that you or someone you know may be being badly affected by heat; the signs of heat exhaustion include:
  • headache
  • dizziness and confusion
  • loss of appetite and feeling sick
  • excessive sweating and pale, clammy skin
  • cramps in the arms, legs and stomach
  • fast breathing or pulse
  • temperature of 38C or above
  • being very thirsty
  • If you see these, you should cool the person down.
Four steps to cool a person down 
  • Move them to a cool place.
  • Get them to lie down and raise their feet slightly.
  • Get them to drink plenty of water. Sports or rehydration drinks are alright
  • Cool their skin – spray or sponge them with cool water and fan them. Cold packs around the armpits or neck are good too.
  • Stay with them until they are better.
They should start to cool down and feel better within 30 minutes. (NHS choices).

You can also get help from the environmental health team about a house or  building that is too hot. They can inspect a home for hazards to health, including excess heat.​​

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