Climate change is having an extreme effect on the weather that we experience - locally, nationally and worldwide. In the past few years, we have witnessed severe flooding, heatwaves and cold snaps. A BBC report (published in September 2023) gives an overview of the extreme weather experienced around the world in 2023. All types of weather can affect you, people you know, and your property.
It is important that you are prepared and are aware of the weather warnings that have been issued in the area where you are. The Met Office, as the UK's official weather service, are responsible for issuing weather warnings and have an online guide to what they mean.
Being a coastal town, Lowestoft is at risk of flooding. In December 2013 a tidal surge caused flooding to over 160 homes and businesses, and caused significant disruption to the road and rail networks. In response to this and other flooding events that have occurred in the last decade, Lowestoft Flood Protection project has worked to improve the flood defences around Lowestoft. Although these defences should significantly reduce the chances of flooding, extreme weather can be unpredictable so it is important to know what to do, and not do, during a flood.
The Environment Agency have created a good practical guide on what to do before, during and after a flood.
If you have any great concerns about how to protect your property from flooding, Flood Guidance have created a document with advice to protect your home.
With Climate Change, more extreme weather patterns are predicted to affect everyone. Heatwaves (such as the long heatwaves/drought experienced in the UK in the Summer 2022 and across Europe in 2023) are expected to happen more frequently and with more devastating effects.
Heatwaves can pose major health risks, especially to vulnerable people. These risks include:
The UK Health Security Agency has a "Beat The Heat" awareness campaign to help keep you and people you know safe. The campaign advises you to:
Keep yourself cool
Find somewhere cool
Whilst we are often experiencing heatwaves during the summer, cold snaps and increased snow and ice over the winter have also highlighted the extreme weather patterns caused by climate change.
Snow and Ice can severely affect your travel plans but it can also affect your home and community buildings. Ice causes a high risk of slips and trips and extra care should be taken if you need to leave the house.
For some people, especially the most vulnerable, the cold and damp weather can have a big impact of their health. The UK Health Security Agency have some top tips for staying well during the winter months: