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Severe weather planning

Severe weather, whether hot or cold, can have a big impact on people's health and our role is to make sure that organisations in Derbyshire have robust plans in place to respond to severe weather.


Cold weather

Cold weather, ice and snow can cause serious difficulties and health problems for older and vulnerable residents.

There are an estimated 426 excess winter deaths in Derbyshire each year due to an increase in heart attacks and strokes, respiratory disease, flu, falls and injuries.

That’s why health protection is involved in planning for severe weather to make sure that vital services can cope during harsh weather.

We have a duty to make sure that plans are in place to protect the health of people in Derbyshire including preparation for cold weather, snow and ice.

We’re working with other local organisations on long term planning for cold weather. This covers:

  • protecting people and infrastructure from the effects of cold weather and helping reduce excess winter illness and death
  • supporting improved building design and increased energy efficiency which can improve and protect health, reduce carbon emissions and generate jobs in the local community
  • tackling fuel poverty including energy efficiency interventions in the home and minimising energy costs

Cold weather alerts

The Met Office issue cold weather alerts from 1 November to 31 March each year. There are 5 levels:

  • level 0 - long term planning, all year
  • level 1 - winter preparedness and action, 1 November to 31 March
  • level 2 - severe winter weather is forecast – alert and readiness
  • level 3 - severe weather action
  • level 4 - major incident, emergency response declared by central government

Find out what the current cold weather alert level is in your area.

General winter health advice is available from NHS Choices.

You can also get advice and tips on keeping warm.

Fuel poverty

A big problem during winter is people not being able to afford to heat their homes.

Often people have to choose between heating and eating. This is known as fuel poverty and we are working to try and tackle this.

You can find out more about fuel poverty and the ways we’re trying to tackle it.

Snow buddies

If you know of any older or vulnerable people who might struggle during severe weather then you can help keep them safe and well by becoming a snow buddy.

Heatwave

Bright, hot summer days are what many of us look forward to for the rest of the year.

However, while we’re enjoying the balmy days of summer, we should not forget that sometimes the temperature can get too high and, for some, it can become dangerously hot.

Excessive exposure to high temperatures can kill. During the 2003 heatwave it's estimated that there were over 2,000 excess deaths.

At risk groups include older people, the very young and people with pre-existing medical conditions.

That’s why as well as planning for cold weather we also have to plan for warm weather.

We’re working with other local organisations on planning for heatwaves and this covers the following issues:

  • long-term multi-agency planning to adapt to and reduce the impact of climate change, including ‘greening the built environment’, building design such as increasing shading and insulation of buildings, increasing energy efficiency and transport policies
  • providing advice and guidance to people on how to protect themselves during heatwaves
  • making sure that organisations have plans in place to respond to heatwaves

Heat health watch alerts

The Met Office issues Heatwave Alerts from 1 June to 15 September each year.

We have a responsibility to ensure that the local services are aware of the heat health alert system and what each alert level means.

There are 5 levels:

  • level 0 - long term planning, all year
  • level 1 - heatwave and summer preparedness programme, 1 June to 15 September
  • level 2 - heatwave is forecast – alert and readiness
  • level 3 - heatwave action
  • level 4 - major incident, emergency response, declared by central government

Find out what the current heat health watch level is in your area.

We have information on keeping cool during warm weather.

General summer health advice is available from NHS Choices.