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Amber Weather Warning – What to Expect and How to Prepare

Amber Weather Warning – What to Expect and How to Prepare

In the face of a never-ending barrage of amber weather warning impacting the UK nationwide, understanding the significance of the UK’s warning traffic light system is vital. While many may have a general awareness of what an ‘amber weather warning’ might entail, understanding the specifics can empower homeowners and businesses to tactically integrate it into their preparations, ensuring the protection of themselves and their properties.

Why is there an increase of weather warnings in the UK?

We have previously discussed the role of climate change in the increase of severe weather warnings and rise in storms across the UK. However, if you’re in a rush, here’s a (brief) summary…

Climate change has been caused by a variety of factors, from unsustainable industrial and farming practices, down to the overwhelming volume of waste we are unable to dispose of globally. Greenhouse gasses are emitted as a result of our own negligence to look after our environment, which then raises the temperatures of our atmosphere.

The raised temperature of the earth leads to the melting of our ice caps and glaciers. The combined rise in global temperatures and sea water levels then disrupt the ocean’s normal patterns causing extreme volatility in our weather.

The deterioration of our Earth’s cycle has intensified with each passing moment that we spend contributing to the problem, propelling both our people and our planet towards a path of destruction. We are now left to deal with the consequences, our only recourse being to slow the progress by holistically adopting more environmentally responsible actions and policies.

What are the different types of weather warnings in the UK?

The UK’s weather warning system is based on a series of colours change vary depending on the increasing severity of the anticipated storm, snow, or flood. Based on the universal traffic light system we see used on British Roads, the colours amber and red indicate an increasing danger to property or life.

Yellow: Yellow warnings cover various weather situations, indicating potential low-level impacts, such as minor travel disruptions. Some may experience direct impacts, so assess your situation. Other yellow warnings signal possible severe impacts for most people, though certainty is lower.

Amber: Expect severe weather with potential travel disruptions, road closures, power cuts, and risks to life and property. Consider altering plans, taking protective actions and preparing for the weather’s impact on your family and community.

Red: Prepare for imminent dangerous weather. Take immediate action for safety. High risk to life, travel disruptions and potential damage to property. Follow emergency services and local authorities’ advice, avoid travel if possible.

It’s important to remember that an amber weather warning alert could easily be raised to red at any point, so it’s best to prepare for these events well in advance.

What is the most reliable news source for weather warnings in the UK?

The most reliable source for weather warnings in the UK is the Met Office. The Met Office is the official national meteorological service and is widely recognised for providing accurate and up-to-date weather forecasts and warnings, they issue warnings for various weather conditions, including severe weather events like storms, heavy rain, snow and other potential hazards.

Nidirect is the official government website for Northern Ireland, It serves as a primary platform for accessing essential weather-related information and warnings for residents and businesses in the region. Users can stay informed about severe weather conditions, receive alerts and access resources on how to prepare for and respond to weather events.

Wales Online, as a news website covering a variety of topics, providing coverage of weather-related news and warnings for the region of Wales. The website may offer updates on weather warnings issued by official sources, such as the Met Office or Natural Resources Wales, providing information to the public about potential risks and precautions to be taken.

BBC Weather, a division of the British Broadcasting Corporation, provides comprehensive weather forecasts and information across various platforms. Utilising a team of meteorologists, BBC Weather delivers up-to-date forecasts for the United Kingdom and global locations through television, radio, a dedicated website, mobile app and social media channels.

weather warning news report

Amber weather warning alert – Prepare your Home

When experiencing a severe weather event, we are often told to stay in our homes as they are safe bases to seek refuge. It only makes sense to ensure your property is equipped for such emergencies.

  1. Secure your property – Ensure the structural integrity of your windows, doors, roofs and outdoor structures. Garden furniture or other loose items should be anchored or stored away to ensure they are not swept away by a storm or flood.
  2. Avoid frozen burst pipes – When there is a sudden drop in temperature outside, water pipes can split due to the water expanding as it freezes. When the pipe eventually thaws, water begins to seep out of the rupture, thus leading to an escape of water. To avoid this, lag your pipes, regularly use your heating on a low setting, and turn your water off at the mains.
  1. Heat your home safely – When the winter chill sets in, it can be tempting to use alternative methods of heating your home to avoid the rising costs of central heating.
    Be sure to check the appliance you use, whether heated blanket, portable heater, candles and hot water bottles or any other device, to ensure it is compliant to the latest health and safety regulations. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidance, and keep pets, small children and any other flammable materials a safe distance away. Read our guides on white goods (electric appliances), Smoke Alarms and Fire safety for further advice.
  1. Clearing gutters for rainfall – One easy tip to avoid water damage due to excessive rainfall is to clean out your gutters. Over the seasons, your guttering may get clogged with leaves and debris. Clearing this out ensures the anticipated rainfall has a path to flow away from your property and through to our sewerage system.
  1. Flood safety – You can use local alerts to notify you of any potential flood events that may affect your property. You can prepare flood mitigation measures such as sandbags and barriers to prevent water from entering your property. If water begins to enter your property, turn your electricity off at the mains, and ensure both electrical and valuables are moved out of reach where possible. For more detailed guidance on emergency flood preparation, read our blog; ‘Preparing for a Flood – Flood Damage Resilience and Restoration‘.
  1. Emergency power considerations – Your electrics may be compromised in the event of a storm or flood. If in budget, it may be advisable to consider purchasing a backup generator, particularly if you live in an area prone to flooding.

Amber weather warning alert – Protect your Wellbeing

  1. Leave your property only when necessary – This includes only venturing outside when absolutely necessary, such as for essential activities like grocery shopping, medical appointments, or work that cannot be performed remotely.
  2. Economical ways of heating yourself and your property – Focus on efficient insulation, sealing leaks and using programmable thermostats. Consider energy-efficient heating systems, utilise space heaters strategically and explore solar powered options. Additionally, invest in energy-efficient windows, use curtains and rugs for insulation and practice layering clothing to reduce reliance on traditional heating methods and lower overall costs.
  3. Clothing & shoes – To protect clothes and shoes in severe weather, apply waterproofing products, invest in waterproof footwear and carry a compact umbrella and raincoat. Use gaiters or plastic shoe covers for extra protection, regular maintenance such as; cleaning and using shoe trees, helps preserve the condition of your belongings during inclement weather.
  4. Resources for financial support – To secure financial support, explore resources such as government assistance programs, non-profit organisations and community services. Additionally, consider financial counselling, budgeting tools and emergency funds to navigate challenging financial situations.
  5. Having a first aid / emergency kit & supplies – Prepare for bad weather by assembling a first aid and emergency kit, including essential supplies such as non-perishable food, extra clothing, sufficient water and chargers for electronic devices. Tailor the kit to address potential weather-related challenges, ensuring you have the necessary tools to stay safe and comfortable during adverse conditions.
  6. Evacuation plan – Developing an evacuation plan is crucial for bad weather scenarios. Identify escape routes, designate meeting points and establish communication channels with family members or roommates. Stay informed about weather forecasts and follow local authorities’ guidance to ensure a safe and orderly evacuation if necessary.
  7. Insurance coverage – Obtain comprehensive insurance coverage, including homeowners or renters insurance with provisions for weather-related damages and consider specialised coverage like flood insurance for specific regional risks. Regularly review and update policies to ensure they align with current needs and potential weather-related risks.

health and wellbeing

If you are away from your home during severe weather events, or plan to be and you’re worried about your home being affected, read our blog; ‘How To Reduce The Risk Of Fire And Flood While You Are Away’ for more information.

In conclusion, navigating the challenges presented by amber weather warnings in the UK requires a holistic approach encompassing awareness, preparedness and protective measures. Understanding the UK’s weather warning system, relying on reputable sources like the Met Office for timely information and having a well-thought-out emergency plan are crucial components, safeguarding both property and personal well-being.

If you have been affected by the current severe weather events, Rainbow Restoration has expert technicians who help with flood damage, please get in touch by using our National Helpline 01623 422488.

If your home does need restoring and you cannot live normally, we do offer alternative accommodation called ‘The Eco Pod‘ in partnership with Courtesy Kitchens and Bathrooms, for more information read our blog; ‘Restoration without relocation – home comfort with a kitchen pod’.

Published: 29 Feb 2024