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Cold Weather Alert

A Cold Weather Alert service operates in England from 1 November to 31 March every year, in association with the Department of Health.

The Cold Weather Alert service comprises four levels of response based on cold weather thresholds. The thresholds have been developed to trigger an alert when severe cold weather is likely to significantly impact people’s health. The alerts take account of temperature along with other winter weather threats such as ice and snow.

A range of important information can be found at the Get ready for winter website.

Current alert level: Level 1 - Winter Preparedness and Action in one or more regions of England

Issued at: Friday 1 November 2013 at 06:00

Temperatures/weather conditions are not expected to exceed Cold Weather Alert threshold criteria in any region from 01/11/2013 06:00:00 until further notice.

Cold Weather Alert regions

Regional map
Key
Region not included
Winter preparedness and long-term planning
Alert and readiness
Cold weather action
Emergency

Guide to Cold Weather Alert

Threshold Values

There are two different thresholds for the Cold Weather Alert service. Only one of the thresholds needs to be breached for a warning to be issued.

The thresholds were developed, working closely with the Department of Health and the Health Protection Agency, to pinpoint when winter weather will impact on people’s health.

The thresholds are:

Level 1: Green - Winter preparedness and long-term planning

This is the minimum state of vigilance during the winter. During this time social and healthcare services will ensure that there is ongoing awareness and preparedness.

Advice: If you want more information about how cold weather can affect your health please visit www.nhs.uk. If you are concerned about your health or somebody you care for, please contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647, www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk or your local pharmacist.

Level 2: Yellow - Alert and readiness

Triggered by the Met Office as soon as the risk is 60% or above for any of the thresholds to be breached. This is an important stage for social and healthcare services who will be working to ensure readiness and swift action to reduce harm from a potential period of cold weather.

Advice: Prolonged periods of cold weather can be dangerous, especially for the very young, very old or those with chronic diseases.

If you want more information about how cold weather can affect your health please visit www.nhs.uk. If you are concerned about your health or somebody you care for, please contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647, www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk or your local pharmacist.

Level 3: Amber - Cold weather action

Triggered by the Met Office when we are experiencing weather which breaches any of the thresholds. This stage requires social and healthcare services to target specific actions at high-risk groups.

Action: Prolonged periods of cold weather can be dangerous, especially for the very young, very old or those with chronic diseases.

If you want more information about how cold weather can affect your health please visit www.nhs.uk. If you are concerned about your health or somebody you care for, please contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647, www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk or your local pharmacist.

Level 4: Red - Emergency

Reached when a period of cold weather is so severe and/or prolonged that its effects extend outside the health and social care system. A level 4 warning would be issued on advice from, or in collaboration with, our Government partners. At this level, the health effects may occur among the fit and healthy, and not just in high-risk groups.

Advice: You can help keep warm by heating all the rooms that you use in your home, ensuring that your bedroom temperature is above 18 °C overnight. Dress warmly, ensuring you wear plenty of thin layers, rather than one thick one. If there is anyone you know who might be at special risk, for example an older person living on their own, make sure they know what to do.

If you want more information about how cold weather can affect your health please visit www.nhs.uk. If you are concerned about your health or somebody you care for, please contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647, www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk or your local pharmacist.


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