Extreme Weather

Our global climate is changing rapidly and in many places are summers are hotter and winters colder. All the time, news stories are breaking about freak weather occurrences and catastrophic events such as Hurricane Sandy and Katrina and the dip in the polar vortex in 2014 that made Chicago colder than the South Pole’s summer. Milder, wetter winters here in the UK and frequent storms with strange names are fast becoming the norm. Whatever the reasons are for the changes, it is essential that we prepare ourselves and our families for the possibility of widespread destruction and disruption caused by extreme weather.

An emergency kit should be the first item on your list. This should include one gallon of water for each person per day, dry food for everyone and a flashlight with an extra supply of batteries. About a two week supply of food and water is a good idea. A battery powered radio or one that is powered by a hand crank is essential for keeping up to date with news and announcements without the need for a mains supply. For a wide range of Outdoor survival equipment, visit

Other important items to keep in your emergency provisions include a first aid kit, a map of your location and surrounding area, a mobile phone with extra charger and someone useful tools such as a Swiss army knife. Having a basic plan of action which you have discussed with everyone at your home, will help you to stay calm and focused when disaster strikes. If they are old enough and responsible enough, give everyone in your household a specific job or duty to do in the event of a crisis. This will help you and your loved ones to have an organised and calm response to a difficult situation.

Program emergency contact numbers into your mobile so there will be no delay in getting hold of the people you need to. It’s also useful to have an evacuation plan including the safest route to get to an agreed meeting point. It might seem dramatic but you and your family should practice this evacuation at least twice a year.

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For extreme cold conditions:

  • Wear layers – layers allow you to adjust for temperatures more easily. A base layer helps you manage moisture, a middle layer is good for insulating and outer layers protect from wind, rain and snow.
  • Protect your extremities as these are more prone to frostbite.
  • Protect pets
  • Stay informed and protect your house by insulating water pipes and use weather stripping for doors and windows.
  • Eat higher protein meals, drink lots of water and also warm drinks. Avoid alcohol as this constricts your blood vessels and decreases blood flow to the skin.
  • If you get very cold then warm up gradually and don’t be tempted to jump into a hot tub or sauna as this can cause dizziness and you could go unconscious.
  • Try not to travel but if you must then travel during the day and stay on main routes.
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