Emergency plans and advice

Severe weather - Severe cold weather

Updated 13 December

A Level 3 severe cold weather alert has been issued for London for the first time this year.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) issued the warning, as temperatures are expected to drop to as low as -4°C or below. The alert has been extended until Friday 16 December.

Prolonged periods of cold weather can be dangerous, especially for older people, those with underlying health conditions, and young children. So please stay safe and check on vulnerable family, friends and neighbours, or members of the community who may be at risk, to see if they need extra help.

If you are unable to heat every room in your home or you are struggling with heating costs, public health advice is to heat the room you use the most during the day and bedrooms before going to sleep.

Some more helpful tips on heating your home and staying safe during the cold weather:

  • Heat/warm yourself first by wearing several thin layers of clothing and ensure the room you are using the most is at least 18°C
  • Dress warmly if you go outside and wear shoes with good grip as it’s getting icy
  • Eat at least one warm meal a day, have regular warm drinks and stay active – this will keep your internal body temperature up
  • Check on others, especially those who are on their own or at higher risk
  • Stay safe while warming your home, don't use naked flames, ovens or barbeques to light or heat your home as they create a risk of fire or carbon monoxide poisoning

More helpful advice can be found in the Staying Safe and Warm at Home leaflet, such as:

  • Making sure your radiators are not obstructed by furniture or curtains.
  • Having plenty of hot food and drinks
  • Using your electric blanket as instructed. 

Read the Staying Safe and Warm at Home leaflet (PDF)

You can also get information from our energy usage advice guide and information for frontline practitioners and on landlord compliance on our website:

Cost of living crisis response
Remember, we offer Warm Havens across the borough. These are safe, non-judgemental warm spaces where residents can go, free of charge, for whatever reason they like.

View the map of Newham's Warm Havens

For more information on how to stay well this winter visit www.newham.gov.uk/wellwinter

During the cold weather period, we are providing emergency accommodation and enhanced outreach work to identify and assist rough sleepers.

Our outreach teams are around the borough identifying rough sleepers and providing them with accommodation and support.

If you see someone sleeping rough, and are concerned for their immediate health, please ring 999. To report a rough sleeper for support contact @StreetLink on 0300 500 0914 or visit www.streetlink.org.uk.

Find more information about SWEP and on getting support for people you see rough sleeping in Newham

What we do in icy weather

Find out about how we help keep roads safe in winter on our road gritting page.

Winter weather advice

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.

Heavy rain and flooding

Get advice on what to do during a flood.

Severe weather advice

Severe Weather advice from the Met Office