THE HEATWAVE has prompted a call from councils for residents to check up on vulnerable people.
With at least a week of hot weather to come, the Local Government Association (LGA), which represents councils in England and Wales, has encouraged people to enjoy the sun safely and to check up on those who may be more vulnerable, including the elderly and those with heart and respiratory problems.
It comes as the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) issued a level 3 heat alert, with temperatures expected to exceed 30ºC during the week.
Council staff will be making calls and extra visits to vulnerable people as required – but local authorities are urging people to call them if they believe anyone needing help is being missed out.
Since last year, a new heat health-related warning system has been introduced in partnership between the Met Office and the UKHSA, forewarning of periods of high temperatures which may affect the health of the public.
Local authorities are involved in year-round preparations for exceptional weather conditions, making sure local areas are as able to cope with high temperatures as they are with freezing temperatures or flooding.
Coun David Fothergill, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “People will understandably want to be out enjoying the sun, but they should remember to take care, particularly of those who may be more vulnerable to effects of heat.
“As the climate is warming, it is likely that periods of extreme heat may become more common in the UK and so councils will be working with others to ensure communities can be kept safe.
“No-one is immune to the power of the sun. Drinking plenty of water, keeping our homes cool, avoiding direct sunlight during the hottest hours of the day and using sunscreen are sensible precautions we all need to remember.
“Looking around at how our older neighbours are coping as we walk our children to school or head to the beach for a day out takes no effort, but could be crucial in making sure they are also able to make the best of the summer.”