Extreme weather events - are you prepared or do you choose to ignore the risk?

Blog Post by Christina Worsley 11 February 2015

Recent news articles from climate change professionals have indicated that Britain is not prepared for extreme weather events resulting from our changing climate.

Flood events

Flood events are becoming much more frequent and affecting many parts of the country.Flood Event Some areas may not have flooded for many years yet in the last 2 years have flooded on several occasions. With widespread media coverage about flooding, why are people not taking action? Are people not aware of their flood risk or do they chose to ignore the risk and hope it doesn’t happen?

Cold weather events

It’s now 4 years ago that Britain came to a standstill when snow and ice caused chaos and severe disruption to the road and rail network and several airports were forced to close including London Heathrow Airport.  Many records were broken and temperatures reaching the lowest on record of - 21.3oC in Altnaharra, Scotland. 

Snow -covered -car

It became apparent during that winter that Britain was not prepared for these extreme temperatures. Numerous water pipes burst through little or no lagging were numerous, condensing boilers stopped working when the condensate pipe froze, car drivers with no knowledge of how to drive in snow and ice were stranded overnight in their cars, grit supplies proved to be inadequate and many roads could not be kept clear. Some people didn’t even own a pair of waterproof boots or shovel to clear their own drive!

This leads me to ask the question again - are people now more aware? Do they have a plan in place or are they just hoping it doesn’t happen again?

High temperatures

In the summer of 2003 Britain experienced a 9 day heatwave with temperatures reaching 38oC. This resulted in over 2000 deaths through people not be prepared for this extreme weather event.  Would you know what to do in a heatwave?

The cost of these extreme events to the economy is high, with some statistics showing this to be as high as £1.2 billion a day. The loss of life is of even greater value.

For any individual, community or business it's important that you:

  • Know your risk
  • Be prepared
  • Have a plan

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