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Met Office – Heat Health Watch Alert Level 3 – Action

The Met Office has issued Level Heatwave Alert Level 3 –  Action

This is triggered when the Met Office confirms threshold temperatures for one of more regions have been reached for one day and the following night, and the forecast for the next day has a greater than 90% confidence level that the day threshold temperature will be met. This stage requires social and healthcare services to target specific actions at high-risk groups.

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/heat-health/#?tab=hotWeatherAlert

There is a 90 % probability of heatwave conditions between 0700 on Wednesday 1st July 2015 and 0900 on Thursday 2nd July 2015 across most of England. West Midlands 100% likelihood with risk of thunderstorms.

 The latest forecast details can be obtained at the following link:

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/forecast/#?tab=map

Advice: Stay out of the sun. Keep your home as cool as possible – shading windows and shutting them during the day may help. Open them when it is cooler at night. Keep drinking fluids. If there’s anybody you know, for example an older person living on their own, who might be at special risk, make sure they know what to do.

Advice on how to reduce the risk either for yourself or somebody you know can be obtained from NHS Choices at www.nhs.uk/summerhealth, NHS 111 or from your local chemist.

During hot spells vulnerable groups, such as the older people, feel the acute effects of heat more than others and it’s long been recognised that death rates rise in the early stages of heatwaves.

Even if temperatures do not hit extreme levels, Public Health England (PHE) still advises people to keep safe in the sun, seek shade to cool down and keep hydrated with plenty of cool fluids.

Top advice for being sun safe:

PHE West Midlands Health Protection Team said: “While many people enjoy hot weather, high temperatures can be dangerous, especially for people who may be particularly vulnerable such as older people, young children and those with serious illnesses.

“The Heatwave Plan is an important component of overall emergency planning and sets out a series of clear actions that can be taken by healthcare organisations, local authorities, professionals working with vulnerable people, and individuals to help keep people safe during extreme heat. To prepare for any type of hot weather this summer, we strongly encourage each locality to consider the actions in this plan and adapt them to their local situation, as a component of wider resilience planning and long-term climate change adaptation arrangements.

“Everyone can enjoy the sun safely by keeping out of the heat at the hottest time of the day, avoiding sunburn and staying hydrated with plenty of cool drinks. Older people and those with long-term illnesses are particularly vulnerable to the effects of very hot weather, so it’s important to look out for them and keep indoor areas as cool as possible.”

Many members of the Muslim community may be fasting during the daylight hours in the month of Ramadan – which this year falls between (approximately) 18 June and 18 July 2015.

Also: “It is common for people to have one meal just before sunrise and an evening meal after sunset during Ramadan. During hot weather, dehydration is a common and serious risk. It is important to balance food and fluid intake between fasts and especially to drink enough water.”

Advice for those fasting during Ramadan:

Remember that it can get uncomfortably hot indoors too. Try to keep your bedroom and living space cool, by closing the curtains on windows that receive the sun and opening your windows at cooler times of the day and overnight when you can. However, make sure that you bear home security in mind too and don’t leave windows open when you leave the house. Turn off non-essential lights and electrical items as these generate heat.

Health and social care workers should regularly check on vulnerable patients, share sun safety messages, make sure room temperatures are set below 26 degrees and ensure patients have access to cold water and ice.

See the Heatwave Plan for England for more information or http://sunsmart.org.uk/UV-the-sun-and-skin-cancer/how-to-enjoy-the-sun-safely/

The latest forecast details can be obtained at the following link:  http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/forecast/#?tab=map

Information on Heatwave preparedness is available at http://www.birminghamprepared.gov.uk/advice/specific-risks/heatwave/

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