Heatwave and Summer Preparedness

Published: 15 June 2022

The plan will run from 1 June to 15 September and provides guidance for residents, local authorities and care agencies on what steps to take before and during a heatwave. Originally published in 2004, it is updated annually to take into account changes in weather, living and health conditions.

The current summer heatwave plan includes the following advice for individuals: 

Stay out of the heat

  • keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm
  • if you have to go out in the heat, walk in the shade
  • keep yourself covered and use sunscreen
  • avoid extreme physical exertion
  • wear light, loose‑fitting cotton clothes

Cool yourself down

  • have plenty of cold drinks, avoid excess alcohol, caffeine and hot drinks
  • eat cold foods, particularly salads and fruit with a high-water content
  • take a cool shower, bath or body wash
  • sprinkle water over the skin or clothing, or keep a damp cloth on the back of your neck
Keep your environment cool
  • keeping your living space cool is especially important for infants, the elderly or those with chronic health conditions or who can’t look after themselves
  • place a thermometer in your main living room and bedroom to keep a check on the temperature
  • keep windows which are exposed to the sun closed during the day, and open windows at night when the temperature has dropped
  • close curtains that receive morning or afternoon sun. Care should be taken with metal blinds and dark curtains, as these can absorb heat – consider replacing or putting reflective material in‑between them and the window space
  • turn off non‑essential lights and electrical equipment as they generate heat
  • keep indoor plants and bowls of water in the house as evaporation helps cool the air
  • if possible, move into a cooler room, especially for sleeping
  • electric fans may provide some relief if temperatures are below 35°C


More information may be found in the following helpful resources: