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Heatwave advice and updates

Due to the hot weather across London this week, the Met Office has issued an amber weather warning for extreme heat from Thursday 11 until Sunday 14 August. This means the hot weather is likely to cause some adverse health effects, especially for those with existing health conditions.

Remember to stay safe in the sun as the hot weather continues:

  • drink plenty of water – carry a refillable water bottle with you
  • wear loose clothing and apply sun cream
  • stay in the shade where you can
  • look out for others, especially vulnerable relatives, and friends
  • check-in on neighbours who may need extra help.

If you’re out and about, find a Cool Space in the city for a break from the heat, visit London.gov.uk.

For helpful tips on staying cool, visit the NHS website.

Find the latest updates on services which may affect you, plus advice on what to do during the hot weather, below.

Service updates

Travel

If you are travelling on public transport, please check your journey before you travel and try to carry a bottle of water with you. 

You can find up to date travel on the Transport for London and National Rail websites.

Advice on what to do during the hot weather

The hot weather can cause health problems for older people and people with long-term conditions. Young children and rough sleepers can also be particularly vulnerable when exposed to high heat

The main risks posed by a heatwave are: 

  • not drinking enough water
  • overheating, which can make symptoms worse for people who already have problems with their heart or breathing
  • heat exhaustion and heatstroke

 

Tips for coping with the hot weather include:

  • staying cool indoors, many of us will need to stay safe at home this summer so know how to keep your home cool
  • closing curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler
  • drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol
  • trying to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm
  • walking in the shade and applying sunscreen regularly
  • looking out for signs of feeling unwell and move to a cool place as soon as possible, slow down and drink water

If you need medical help, call NHS 111 or 999 in an emergency.

There are a number of fountains around Westminster where you can get water or refill your water bottle. You can also visit Refill London.

You can find more advice from the NHS on how to cope in hot weather.

If you’re out and about, find a Cool Space in the city for a break from the heat. Visit London City Hall's Cool Space page for a city-wide map.

Libraries

Our sixteen libraries are open today and offer a cool place to shelter from the heat. They are open to everyone.

Some of our coolest libraries are:

  • Pimlico Library, Lupus Street, SW1V 3AT
  • Victoria Library, Buckingham Palace Road, SW1W 9UD
  • Marylebone Library, 9-11 New Cavendish Street, W1G 8UQ
  • Paddington Library, Porchester Road, W2 5DU

Leisure centres

Leisure centres across Westminster are offering respite for passers by to sit and cool down, find the nearest leisure centre.

Family Hubs

Our Family Hubs are always open for families with children and run a schedule of activities for young people and their parents.

Call your local family hub today to see if they have availability for you to drop into these cooler indoor spaces:

Bessborough Family Hub

  • 1 Bessborough Street, Westminster, London, SW1V 2JD
  • Telephone: 020 7641 5923

Church Street Family Hub

  • Church Street Family Hub, 12-18 Salisbury Street, London, NW8 8DE
  • Telephone: 020 3307 1940

Queen's Park Family Hub

  • 88 Bravington Road, London, W9 3AL
  • Telephone: 020 7641 5838

We have initiated our Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) to protect the most vulnerable during the hot weather in the city and it will remain in place until Midnight on Tuesday.

We are working with our partners and will be be handing out water and offering advice to protect people sleeping rough from heat exhaustion, dehydration, and sun stroke.

 

Outreach teams including St Mungo’s, Connections at St Martin’s, and the Passage, are increasing welfare checks, providing plenty of water and sunscreen and ensuring people sleeping rough know where to access cool spaces and water fountains.

Day shelters are available across Westminster, giving people sleeping rough access to shade and refreshments during the hottest hours of the day. Overnight accommodation is also available for rough sleepers for the duration of the heatwave.

Support for homeless pets will be provided by voluntary agency Dogs On The Streets this week, who offer veterinary treatment and deliver cooling mats to pets on the streets plus temporary fostering.

We know that some people suffer from the heat more than others, that’s why our Housing Officers have been reaching out directly to vulnerable residents to support them to stay safe in the heatwave.

If you are concerned about a neighbour in one of our housing estates, please email [email protected] and our team will contact them.

You are advised to only walk your dogs in the early mornings and late evenings. Where this is not possible, your dogs shouldn’t be walked at all. 

Please do not walk dogs in this heat as it is not safe for them. Dogs who are happy, excitable and playing may not show obvious signs of heatstroke until it is too late.

Signs of heat stroke, prevention and what to do if your dog is struggling or collapses can be found on the RSPCA’s website Dogs Die On Hot Walks. Never leave your dog in a car regardless to whether the windows are open or parked in the shade. If you see a dog locked inside a car in the heat always dial 999.

The RSPCA's stray dog service is fully operational during this time, however the quickest way to reunite a dog with its owner during this heat may be to take it to a vet, who can scan for a microchip. Only do this is you are able to transport the dog safely and keep them cool.

The stray dog service operates 24/7. Lost and found dogs should be reported to 0344 482 8320.