How to prepare for extreme summer weather

How to prepare for extreme summer weather

With the Met Office issuing an amber weather warning for extreme heat this week, you need to know how to keep cool and beat the heat. Not only that, but the weather is set to turn again in the following fortnight, and we may see a barrage of thunderstorms across the UK. There are many ways to prepare your home for heat, but what about your family, and when those storm clouds roll around?

We’ve put together a blog post on how you can best prepare yourself to deal with heat, and prepare your home to deal with a thunderstorm.

How to prepare for a heatwave

Know the signs of heat-related illnesses:

One of the biggest harms that can come to human beings as a result of hot temperatures is heat-related illnesses like Heatstroke, heat exhaustion, and heat cramps. If over the coming weeks you experience dizziness, confusion, unconsciousness, a rapid/strong pulse, red skin that is hot and dry with an absence of sweat, and/or a high body temperature – you may have Heatstroke and should seek immediate medical attention.  that should be treated accordingly. If you suspect heatstroke, call 999 and move the person to a cool area as soon as possible, raise their feet slightly remove excess clothing, cool the skin and fan them whilst you wait for an ambulance – if they’re conscious give them cool (not cold) water to drink.

Heat exhaustion can be spotted by looking out for paleness, heavy sweating, vomiting & nausea, weakness, a fast or slow pulse, headaches, dizziness, muscle cramps or fainting. Heat cramps are muscle pains or spasms that are usually located in areas of the arms, legs or stomach. Unlike Heatstroke, heat cramps and heat exhaustion are not usually serious concerns but may develop into Heatstroke – in which case, you need to call 999. For less severe symptoms, the NHS advises calling 111 if:

  • You are feeling unwell after 30 minutes of resting in a cool place and drinking plenty of water.
  • You are not sweating even while feeling too hot.
  • You have a high temperature of 40ºC or above.
  • You are feeling confused.

And to prevent or minimize the risk of such conditions by:

  • Drinking plenty of cold drinks, especially when exercising.
  • Taking cool baths or showers
  • Wearing light-coloured, loose clothing
  • Sprinkling water over skin or clothes
  • Avoiding the sun between 11 am and 3 pm (peak temperature hours)
  • Avoiding drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
  • Avoiding extreme exercise

Other ways to prepare:

  • With the current cost of living and energy crisis, we would advise that you seek out communal areas with air conditioning, rather than purchase a unit. Identify places nearby where you can go to get cool if need be. These could include public libraries, shopping centres, coffee shops, museums and galleries etc.
  • Cover windows with fly screens or window reflectors.
  • Find an alternative cooling method to a fan. Fans may provide comfort during high temperatures, but they use a lot of electricity and do not reduce body temperature or prevent heat-related illnesses like Heatstroke.

So how can you keep cool during a heatwave?

  • Stay hydrated (keep pets hydrated and in the shade too!)
  • Take baths and showers with cool water
  • Apply cold compresses or ice the back of your neck to cool your body temperature
  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol and partaking in strenuous exercise or work outdoors

And in the coming days and weeks, start thinking about preparations for thunderstorms.

How to prepare for a thunderstorm

  • Ensure your roof tiles are secure and any loose tiles are fixed and remove loose items in the garden like ladders
  • Prepare a first aid kit
  • Unplug non-essential electric appliances to protect against power surges
  • Secure doors and windows and keep them shut
  • Get acquainted with what to do in a power cut
  • Know whom you need to contact in case of an emergency, including insurance providers and damage restoration services like ServiceMaster Restore.

During a thunderstorm:

  • Be sure to stay away from windows
  • Furthermore, stay inside until the storm has passed – do not drive unless essential, and be sure not to park near trees or electrical lines
  • DO NOT shelter under trees
  • Avoid using the landline as phone lines can conduct electricity
  • If in an exposed location, squat close to the ground, and put your hands on your knees and with your head tucked between them. Try to touch as little of the ground with your body as possible, do not lie down on the ground
  • If you feel your hair stand on end, drop to this position immediately

But should the worst happen and you find that the effects of the sun or thunderstorm cause damage to your home, call 0845 762 6828 in an emergency or find your nearest ServiceMaster Restore business and we will restore your home to its former glory.

Written by Tom Page, Digital Content Writer