Severe weather

The Met Office warns the public and emergency responders of severe or hazardous weather which has the potential to cause danger to life. Severe weather refers to heavy rain, winds, dense fog and severe snow and ice. For more detailed guidance visit the Met Office website.

The Met Office has a series of warnings that it uses for severe weather. Always listen to your local radio or TV channel to get the latest weather warnings. Severe weather warnings will also be on the Met Office website:

Storms and gales


  • If strong winds are predicted secure loose objects in your garden such as garden furniture.
  • Close and securely fasten doors & windows.


  • Stay indoors as much as possible. If you do go out try not to walk or shelter close to buildings and trees.
  • Do not drive unless your journey is really necessary. If you have to, take care when driving on exposed routes.
  • Do not go outside to try and fix any storm damage.


  • After a storm do not to touch any electrical/telephone cables that have been blown down or are still hanging.
  • Check on vulnerable neighbours to make sure they are okay.

Snow and ice


  • Make sure you have enough insulation around your water tank, loft and external water pipes.
  • Check on vulnerable neighbours.
  • Prepare any essentials you may need


  • Adjust your driving to suit the conditions. Black ice isn’t always visible and so can be an even greater hazard for both motorists and pedestrians. Black ice may be formed when rain or drizzle fall on a road surface which is at a temperature below zero. Try to wait until the roads have been gritted before travelling.
  • Put grit or cat litter on paths and driveways to lessen the risk of slipping on compacted snow.
  • If you go outside wear several layers of clothing and keep dry to prevent loss of body heat.
  • Ensure that the heating comes on occassionally if leaving your house unoccupied for an extended period of time.
  • When icy conditions are likely, set your heating to come on for a short time to stop internal pipes freezing and open your loft hatch to circulate heat around your loft tank.


  • Be careful when walking or driving on compacted snow – it may have turned to ice.
  • Remove the top layer of snow in the morning to allow the ice to melt during the day.

Dense fog

Travelling in fog can be extremely dangerous. Fog can drift rapidly and is often patchy. Warnings of dense fog are issued when visibility is expected to fall below 200 metres. Severe disruption to transport occurs when the visibility falls below 50 metres.

  • Drive very slowly with dipped headlights, full-beam lights reflect off the fog causing a ‘white wall’ effect.
  • Keep an eye on your speed, fog can give the illusion of moving in slow motion.
  • Use fog lights, but remember to turn them off when the visibility improves.
  • Watch out for freezing fog which is made of water droplets that freeze on contact with objects such as the pavement, road, car, etc. It can quickly form a layer of ice.