There are a number of changes you could make to your home or business premises to reduce the impact of extreme weather events and the longer term changes in our climate.
Heatwaves and Drought
Temperatures are likely to rise and we are likely to have more heat waves. The hot temperatures can affect our health, particularly young and elderly people.
- Read How to stay cool in a heat wave
- Create an area of shade in your garden where you can sit to cool off.
- Remember hot weather can affect transport networks, making it difficult to get around. Roads frequently melt and train tracks can over expand causing buckling of the tracks.
- Close the blinds and curtains throughout the day to shade rooms on hot summers days to keep the heat out
- Do you have shutters or awnings to provide shading over your windows?
- Do you have fans or air conditioning? Be aware using these can increase your energy use and carbon footprint. Read 8 Low Tech Ways to Keep Cool.
- Do you use fans to move air around rooms when the air is cooler inside rather than opening windows?
- Do you have plants in your house? Plants help to clean the air by removing carbon dioxide, which improves the quality of the air in a room.
- Do you choose plants for your garden which do not need daily watering? Watering plants in the early morning or evening ensures the plants are able to take up and keep more water than if you water them during the middle of the day, which also helps them to survive hotter, drier weather.
- Do you collect rainwater and use recycled water in your garden and toilets?
- Do you try to limit your activity during the hottest part of the day?
- Do you clear leaves and debris from your gutters and drains?
- Do you fix leaks and check for reasons for damp in your walls or ceilings?
- Do you make sure you ventilate your rooms after wet weather to reduce condensation and help prevent damp problems?
- Does your drive let rainwater drain through instead of being tarmac, e.g. do you have a drive made of loose gravel or with grass sections?
- Do you have planted areas and grass areas in your garden to help sock up rainwater?
Storms and High Winds
- Do you make sure you remove dead branches and manage trees and large plants in your garden?
- Do you check your roof tiles are secure and ensure any repairs are made?
- Do you have insulation in your loft and walls?
- Do you use draft excluders and thicker curtains in winter to keep the cold out?
- Do you keep your radiators and thermostats at a set level during the winter, rather than changing the setting regularly? Changing the radiator temperatures regularly means the boiler will be adjusting to try to get back to a constant temperature in the house, which uses more energy.
- Do you use salt or clear your drive of ice and snow?
Be aware of the impact the weather may have on you, people you know and the community.
Things to consider:
- In a heat wave wear sun screen and a hat and drink plenty of water.
- Snowfall and icy weather can make people more prone to falls so take care.
- Weather can affect transport networks, making it difficult to get around.
- Services may be disrupted in times of extreme weather, winds can bring down power lines and water pipes may freeze during cold periods.
- Be aware of vulnerable members of your community they may need extra help.
- Be aware of the needs of any elderly or sick relatives.
- Have a list of emergency contacts and numbers.
- Be prepared for an emergency have a plan and an emergency kit bag.
It is important to identify:
- What the risks are
- Who is most vulnerable
- Have a plan of action ready