Severe Weather

The UK experiences a wide variety of weather systems.

The impacts are as varied as the types of weather and include:

  • Ill health.
  • Property damage.
  • Disruption to utilities.
  • Travel disruption.
  • School closures.
  • Increased number of admissions to hospitals and GPs.

These produce a knock-on effect to individuals, businesses and the ability for organisations to deliver essential community functions.

Who can be affected?

In the event of a weather warning ask; is it necessary to make the journey? Could a telephone call do instead? The elderly and vulnerable are at an increased risk in heat waves or cold snaps.

What are we doing in County Durham and Darlington?

  • Production of multi-agency plans to manage the effects of severe weather events including any impact on utility networks.
  • The MET Office provides advice and severe weather warnings which can be received in many ways, such as television, internet, radio or social media.
  • Winter planning undertaken by many agencies such as gritting routes.
  • The NHS provides winter flu jabs and plans for expected surges.
  • Additional support via health and social services is identified for elderly and vulnerable people.
  • Utilities companies plan their own responses to maintain power, gas and water supply
  • All emergency service organisations have their own Business Continuity Plans to make sure they are still able to function.

What can you do?

Make sure you can access the latest weather forecasts. Depending on the level of warning:

  • Follow instructions and advice given by authorities.
  • Avoid non-essential journeys.
  • If you must make a journey, plan ahead and carry such items as emergency food/ clothing/ blanket/water and flask of hot drink.
  • Check on elderly or vulnerable relatives and friends.
  • If you are aware of property damage that may get worse in strong winds - get it fixed now.

Where can you get further information?

Met Office [external link] [external link]