How To Survive a Heatwave

Many people in the UK will be gearing up for their Summer holidays. Some will be going abroad but many will be staying in the UK for their holidays. So called ‘staycations’ are becoming increasingly popular with British holidaymakers. The good thing about ‘staycations’ of late is that the British weather has been rivalling that of the mediterranean. We have been enjoying a lot of hot weather with temperatures hitting the 30’s.

However, not everyone will be enjoying these high temperatures. It seems like these freak weather conditions are going to continue as forecaster’s have predicted that we will be hit by many heatwaves in the coming months.

What Is A Heatwave?

A heatwave is a prolonged period of hot weather that is unusual for that time of year in that area. A heatwave is usually defined as lasting for three days or longer. As we have many years of previous records we can calculate what is normal and abnormal for that time of year in regards to the weather conditions. High pressure jet streams are often the cause of heatwaves.

People might look forward to these balmy weather conditions but there is a big risk attached to Summer heatwaves.


Severe heatwaves can affect people in lots of ways. Dehydration, heatstroke, heat exhaustion and even death can be the results of a Summer heatwave. People with lung and heart conditions should take extra precautions.

Be vigilant around extreme heat, especially if you have babies/younger children. People with chronic illnesses and the elderly are at most risk from severe hot weather conditions. It is also important to assess the risk to your animals and pets when a heatwave is on its way.

What To Do

  • If you are working outside and a heatwave is forecast then you should down tools and head for the nearest shade. The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has released an official guide on how worker’s should be protected when a heatwave hits.
  • The sun will be at its hottest between 11am and 3pm during a heatwave. Try to stay indoors if you can during this period. Shut the shades on your windows whilst you are in the house.
  • If you have blinds or curtains make sure they are light coloured as darker colours will make your rooms hotter. Open your windows with your blinds or curtains shut.
  • Keep hydrated! People can pass out due to dehydration and more seriously heat exhaustion so make sure you are taking on plenty of fluids throughout the day, specifically water.
  • Invest in an air fan to keep your rooms nice and cool. Have a portable one handy if you need to venture out anywhere during the day.
  • If you do have pets make sure you keep them in a cool air-conditioned space. Small animals like cats and dogs can get dehydrated and over heat very quickly, make sure you give them plenty of water throughout the day.
  • If you do notice a loved one feeling unwell or showing signs that they are suffering from heatstroke or heat exhaustion then call for medical help if they do not improve.


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