Nationally, almost 700 more deaths than average were recorded during the 15-day heatwave during the summer of 20181.
Over 3 million properties are at risk of surface water flooding, and 2.7 million are at risk from rivers and the sea2.
We’re familiar with headlines in the media of ‘Bournemouth hotter than Barcelona’, accompanied by images of people cooling off in fountains and eating ice creams. But there’s a big difference between hot weather, unseasonably hot weather and heatwaves.
The UK is “woefully unprepared” for deadly heatwaves, a cross-party committee of MPs concluded.
Bristol is taking part in the 100 Resilient Cities programme, producing the Bristol Resilience Strategy. But what can we do as individuals, households and communities?
There are many changes you can make to your home either as routine maintenance/replacement or major refurb/building work:
The first check to do is to investigate whether your property is at risk of flooding:
If you’re a bit more technically minded, the Bristol City Council website has GIS mapping for flood risk.
Depending on the above, you might need to check you have the right level of cover if at risk of flooding: Household insurance – National Flood Forum
It’s easy to forget how uncomfortable heatwaves are.
Make a list of actions whilst it’s hot then gradually implement them throughout the year to spread the cost.
- Planning a loft conversion? They can be particularly prone to overheating. Ask your builder what they plan to do about this.
- Planning an extension? Consider an overhang if it’s south-facing. Ensure shading, glazing and insulation are properly designed to cope with heat
- Reduce waste heat by insulating hot water tanks and lagging pipes.
- Look into solar control films if you’re installing new windows. Trickle vents aid night-time ventilation. Are any windows painted shut or otherwise prevented from opening? Do your blinds or curtains need replacing with ones that block out the sunlight?
- Create shade in your garden. You can grow plants to make a canopy or buy a shade if budget and storage allows.
Public Health England has a useful checklist looking at which types of homes are affected, who is most affected, how to prepare in advance, what to do reactively when hot weather occurs and where to get help.