Coping with hot weather in London

The Mayor wants to ensure that Londoners can prepare, respond to, and recover from the impacts of extreme heat. 

Hot weather can make things quite uncomfortable if you live and/or work in the capital, so it’s important to be prepared. Whether you’re travelling, working or trying to keep cool at home there are small actions you can take to help you cope with the heat.

When we experience hot weather, Public Health England issue this simple but helpful advice:

  • Shut windows and pull down the shades (or close curtains) when it is hotter outside. You can open the windows for ventilation when it is cooler
  • Avoid the heat: stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm (the hottest part of the day) if you're vulnerable to the effects of heat
  • Wear loose, cool clothing and a hat and sunglasses if you go outdoors
  • Drink plenty of fluids: water, lower fat milks and tea and coffee are good options
  • Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves
  • Keep rooms cool by using shades or reflective material outside the windows. If this isn't possible, use light-coloured curtains and keep them closed (metallic blinds and dark curtains can make the room hotter)
  • Have a cool bath or shower, and splash yourself with cool water
  • Listen to alerts on the radio, TV and social media about keeping cool
  • Plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies, such as food, water and any medications you need
  • Identify the coolest room in the house so you know where to go to keep cool.

If you are out and about, you may find a ‘cool spot’ such as shading provided by trees in a green space/park, libraries, shopping centres, a museum etc.

Keep a reusable water bottle with you and refill it it for free at one of the thousands of Refill points across the capital under the Refill London scheme. Download the free app and find out where you can refill for free. 

Who is at risk?

There are certain factors that increase an individual’s risk during a heatwave. These include:

  • Older age: especially those over 75+, or those living on their own and who are socially isolated, or in a care home
  • Chronic and severe illness: such as heart and kidney conditions, diabetes, respiratory illnesses, Parkinson’s disease or mental illness
  • Inability to adapt behaviour to keep cool: having Alzheimer’s, a disability, being bed bound, too much alcohol, babies and the very young
  • Environmental factors and overexposure: living in a top floor flat, being homeless, activities or jobs that are in hot places or outdoors and include high levels of physical exertion.

If you are worried about an urgent medical concern in very hot weather, you can call NHS 111 to speak to a fully trained advisor.

Weather forecasts

Stay up to date with the weather in London with forecasts and alerts from the Met Office.

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