What the Met Office level 4 extreme heat red alert means and how to react to it

The Met Office has issued a red warning for extreme heat next warning the country could see a ‘potentially very serious situation’.

It’s the first time the warning has ever been issued so here’s what it means and how you should react to stay safe.

The extreme heat national severe weather warning is in place from Monday through to Wednesday for parts of central, northern, eastern and southeastern England.

The warning is issued when: ‘A heatwave is so severe and/or prolonged that its effects extend outside the health and social care system.

‘At this level, illness and death may occur during the fit and healthy, and not just in high-risk groups.’

Advice states people should ‘look out for others, especially older people, young children and babies and those with underlying health conditions.’

Those who live alone are considered to be at particular risk and anyone who is on their own is advised to get a friend or relative to check on them during the hot weather.

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To keep homes and other indoor spaces cool, people should close curtains in rooms that face the sun and remember it may be cooler outdoors rather than indoors.

If you are outside try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm, when UV rays are strongest, stick to the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat.

People are also advised to avoid physical exertion during the hottest parts of the day.

Dehydration is a real risk and people should drink plenty of fluids but avoid ‘excess alcohol’.

To help keep cool people should ‘dress appropriately for the weather and slow down when it’s hot’.

People are advised to be ‘on the lookout for signs of heat-related illness’.

Officials advise people to cool their skin with water, ‘slow down and drink water’.

Dr Agostinho Sousa, Head of Extreme Events and Health Protection at UKHSA, said: ‘Heat-health alerts have now been issued to the majority of the country, with temperatures set to remain consistently high throughout the duration of the weekend and the start of next week.

‘It is important to keep yourself hydrated and to find shade where possible when UV rays are strongest, between 11am and 3pm.

‘If you have vulnerable family, friends and neighbours, make sure they are aware of how they can keep themselves protected from the warm weather.’

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