Information to help you, your business and your community plan for severe weather.
As the UK's official weather service, the Met Office is responsible for issuing weather warnings, which warn of impacts caused by severe weather. Our warnings are designed to let people, businesses, emergency responders and governments know what weather is in store and what the impacts of that weather may be.
By receiving and understanding weather warnings from the Met Office you can help your community to stay one step ahead of possible impacts that may be caused by severe weather.
Keep up to date
Always check your latest local forecast to find out if there are any weather warnings in force for your local area. You can also sign up to our email alerts or download our Weather App to ensure you are always updated with the very latest forecast details, wherever you are. You can also help by passing Met Office warnings on to family and friends or by sharing them through social media.
WeatherReady is a year-round campaign to help individuals, families and communities prepare for and cope with severe weather. It provides up-to-date expert seasonal advice from carefully selected organisations to help you prepare for and respond to the weather, to stay safe and protect yourself, your homes and businesses.
There are a number of practical steps you can take to support your community to prepare for severe weather.
Heavy rain brings the risk of impacts to transport routes and services as well as to properties and businesses. Short periods of intense rainfall can cause flash flooding and longer periods of heavy rainfall can cause widespread flooding and rivers to overflow.
Your community might be in an area susceptible to flooding so you might want to get involved in helping to prepare for and respond to possible flooding impacts. It is not just your home that may be affected - but also businesses, schools and community venues. Check out the latest on flooding information for your part of the UK:
- England: Environment Agency
- Northern Ireland: NI Direct
- Scotland: Scottish Environment Protection Agency
- Wales: Natural Resources Wales
Prepare a flood kit of essential items such as your insurance documents, a torch, a wind-up or battery radio, warm clothing and blankets, a first aid kit and any prescription medicine, bottled water and non-perishable foods.
Snow and Ice
Snow and ice often affect us over the winter months. Not only can it severely disrupt your travel plans - it can also affect access to your home and community buildings. Clearing snow and ice from the pavement outside your home or public areas can help prevent slips and falls.
For some people, cold damp winter weather can have a big impact on their health. We have some simple steps you can take to help keep you and members of your community warm and healthy throughout the winter months.
Elderly and less mobile members of your community can be particularly affected by snow and ice, so there are ways in which you can ensure they do not become isolated.
Storms, strong winds
Taking a few simple precautions before damaging winds arrive can make the clearing up afterwards easier and quicker. Even small things can really help, like clearing gutters or fixing broken tiles to moving garden furniture and pot plants to garden sheds or garages.
Whether it is widespread or patchy, thick fog can bring disruption to all transport networks. Driving conditions can become very poor and make journey times longer. Passengers may be delayed or stranded at airports or ferry terminals, so always check the forecast before you travel.
Thunderstorms and lightning
Thunderstorms bring the risk of impacts to road, rail and air transport, as well as to properties and utilities from short-lived torrential rain, hail and lightning strikes. Lightning can cause power cuts and disrupt other utilities and services. Torrential rain and hail can lead to flooding and make driving difficult – with big differences in road conditions from one place to another.
Whilst many of us like to enjoy the sunshine and hot weather, we should make sure we do it safely and remember certain groups of people are more vulnerable than others to heat. Extreme heat not only affects us but can also place strains on water and energy utilities, road and rail transport and the health and fire services.
Community responders and the voluntary sector play a crucial role in the resilience of the UK. Our training prospectus is aimed at those who work or volunteer in the local community to make them more resilient to severe weather events.
The Met Office have a key role under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 to provide information to Category 1 and 2 responders but also to warn and inform the public around severe weather. The courses contained in the prospectus will provide an opportunity for community responders and the voluntary sector who work closely with local responders to increase their knowledge and find sources of information to assist them as they respond to severe weather.
If you feel that you are part of a community or voluntary group that works closely with local emergency responders and would like access to these courses, please contact your local responder contact.
Communities in England
Communities in Northern Ireland
Communities in Scotland
Communities in Wales