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Extreme Weather Advice

Climate change is having an extreme effect on the weather that we experience - locally, nationally and worldwide.  In the past few years, we have witnessed severe flooding, heatwaves and cold snaps.  A BBC report (published in September 2023) gives an overview of the extreme weather experienced around the world in 2023.  All types of weather can affect you, people you know, and your property.

It is important that you are prepared and are aware of the weather warnings that have been issued in the area where you are.  The Met Office, as the UK's official weather service, are responsible for issuing weather warnings and have an online guide to what they mean.

UK Weather Warnings 1


Being a coastal town, Lowestoft is at risk of flooding.  In December 2013 a tidal surge caused flooding to over 160 homes and businesses, and caused significant disruption to the road and rail networks.  In response to this and other flooding events that have occurred in the last decade, Lowestoft Flood Protection project has worked to improve the flood defences around Lowestoft.  Although these defences should significantly reduce the chances of flooding, extreme weather can be unpredictable so it is important to know what to do, and not do, during a flood.

  • Be aware of the flood warnings and cooperate with the emergency services
  • Check in with other people in your household (especially if they are vulnerable)
  • Gather essential items together upstairs or in a high place (this includes a charged mobile phone)
  • Fill jugs and saucepans with clean water
  • Move your family and pets upstairs, or to a high place
  • Turn off gas, electricity and water supplies. DO NOT touch sources of electricity when standing in flood waters
  • Keep listening to local radio for updates or call floodline 0345 988 1188
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters

The Environment Agency have created a good practical guide on what to do before, during and after a flood.

If you have any great concerns about how to protect your property from flooding, Flood Guidance have created a document with advice to protect your home.


With Climate Change, more extreme weather patterns are predicted to affect everyone.  Heatwaves (such as the long heatwaves/drought experienced in the UK in the Summer 2022 and across Europe in 2023) are expected to happen more frequently and with more devastating effects.

Heatwaves can pose major health risks, especially to vulnerable people.  These risks include:

  • Dehydration
  • Overheating
  • Heat Exhaustion and Heatstroke

The UK Health Security Agency has a "Beat The Heat" awareness campaign to help keep you and people you know safe.  The campaign advises you to:

Plan ahead

  • Check the weather forecast and the news
  • Plan ahead to avoid the heat
  • Schedule activities to cooler times of the day (avoiding 11am-3pm)

Keep yourself cool

  • Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol
  • Wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses
  • Cool your skin with water and slow down

Find somewhere cool

  • Close blinds and curtains during the day
  • Go indoors or outdoors, whichever feels cooler
  • Avoid closed spaces like stationary cars

Be safe

  • Be on the lookout for signs of heat related illness
  • Look after yourself and check in with others
  • Stay safe when swimming
  • Get help. Call NHS 111 or, in an emergency, 999.

Cold Weather - Snow & Ice

Whilst we are often experiencing heatwaves during the summer, cold snaps and increased snow and ice over the winter have also highlighted the extreme weather patterns caused by climate change.

Snow and Ice can severely affect your travel plans but it can also affect your home and community buildings.  Ice causes a high risk of slips and trips and extra care should be taken if you need to leave the house.

For some people, especially the most vulnerable, the cold and damp weather can have a big impact of their health.  The UK Health Security Agency have some top tips for staying well during the winter months:

  • Get your flu jab (if you are part of an eligible group, this is free)
  • Keep warm and keep well - ideally your home should be at least 18C
  • Check on others
  • Get financial support
  • Get on the Priority Services Register
  • Heat your home safely