Red weather warning issued for Suffolk » Babergh Mid Suffolk
Residents across Babergh and Mid Suffolk are urged to prepare for extreme temperatures next week following the first ever heat-related red weather warning issued for the county.
The weather warning is in place for Suffolk for Monday July 18 and Tuesday July 19, with the Met Office warning of a widespread impact on people and infrastructure as temperatures could reach almost 40 degrees in the county.
In recognition of the adverse impact that the heat could have on the health of people, including those who are usually fit and well, Suffolk Resilience Forum is urging everyone to say safe in high temperatures by:
- Drinking plenty of fluids and always carrying water when out and about
- Staying out of the sun, where possible, for the whole of Monday and Tuesday, but especially during 11am and 3pm
- Applying sunscreen and wearing a hat if going out in the heat
- Avoiding physical activity during the hottest parts of the day
- Checking in on the vulnerable, including the elderly and those who live alone
Travel disruption may also be likely, with people expected to flock to Suffolk’s coast during the good weather and the potential for speed restrictions on the county’s rail networks. Any unnecessary travel should be avoided on Monday and Tuesday and anyone who must make a journey should check for delays before leaving home.
Suffolk Highways is braced for the anticipated high temperatures and has already begun pre-emptive dusting at sites that have recently been surface dressed to reduce the risk of the material breaking away from the surface below as it’s driven over in particularly hot conditions. Drivers are asked to take extra care when using the roads and should report any problems on 0345 606 6171.
There has already been an increase in fires in the open during the past few days, and Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service is encouraging people to avoid barbecues and campfires on dry grass or near hedges, put out cigarettes properly before disposing of them, and call 999 immediately at the first sign of a fire.
Caution should also be taken by those looking to cool off with a swim, with around 85% of drownings take place in open water because of shock from cold water temperatures, strong currents and uneven banks and riverbeds.
Stephen Baker, Chair of Suffolk Resilience Forum, commented:
“The first ever red weather warning for extreme heat in Suffolk demonstrates how serious these high temperatures could be and, as such, people should take the necessary precautions over the coming days.
“Although the Suffolk Resilience Forum will continue to do all it can to help protect our county, we need everyone to follow the safety guidance in place to help avoid our emergency services being put under more pressure from heat related injuries, fires in the open, or water rescues.
“We know that there will be increased demand on our health colleagues during the heatwave so please contact 111 online in the first instance if feeling unwell and remember that 999 should be used for life threating emergencies only.”
Suffolk Resilience Forum is made up of local authorities across the county, including Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils, working with colleagues from public health and emergency services to support residents and communities during emergencies.
Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils are also asking residents to put out their bins out the night before they are due for collection next week, to allow crews to start earlier in the day and avoid peak temperatures.
Severe weather protocol has also been activated for rough sleepers – with the emergency accommodation, sunscreen and water being provided to those found on the streets.
Suffolk residents can keep updated on the weather warning and subsequent disruptions by:
- Following Suffolk County Council and/or their local authority on social media
- Monitoring the weather forecast at www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/forecast/uk
- Visiting schoolclosures.suffolk.gov.uk/ for up-to-date information on school closures – the decision to close a school during extreme weather is taken by the headteacher, with schools also making their own provisions for keeping children safe