Learn about heatwaves in the UK, how to cope with extended periods of hot weather as well as tips for first aid and other heatwave advice.

What can you find on this page:

  • Advice on UK Heatwaves

European Heatwave 2023

Eastern and southern Europe are currently experiencing record-high temperatures as the Cerberus heatwave hits the continent. Spain, France, Greece, Turkey, and Croatia are expecting temperatures to be above 40 degrees, with parts of Italy reaching 48 degrees, which could set a new European record.

This extreme heat has been caused by the Cerberus weather system moving toward Europe from the Sahara. The heatwave weather is expected to last at least until mid-August. If you are traveling to Europe or other parts of the world, it’s important to be aware of the dangers of extreme heat. You can follow our advice on spotting heat stroke symptoms,  staying cool during a heatwave, and what to do in the event of a wildfire.

Always check travel advice from the UK government before traveling and make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance to cover any medical emergencies. You may also want to familiarise yourself with how to access medical support in the country you are visiting in case of an emergency.

How to prepare for a Heatwave

Read advice on how to prepare for a heatwave and what to do to be safe during heatwave temperatures.

  • Keep informed and stay alert. Follow weather updates and take heatwave warnings seriously. Check for weather warnings in your area and sign up for the UKHSA Heat Health Alert.
  • Stock up on food and drinking water. If needed, store water in case there is a problem with your water supply.
  • Check fridges, freezers, fans, and air conditioning units are working. If you have a ventilation system in your home, check this is switched on and working.
  • Check on friends, neighbours, and relatives. Make sure they are aware of the risks and help them with heatwave preparation.
  • Babies and children, those with underlying health issues, and elderly people are at particular risk during hot weather. Find out if anyone you know or care for will need additional support.
  • Ensure you have enough medication and you know how to store it in hot temperatures.
  • A chronic illness, such as a heart, lung, or kidney problem, may get worse in hot weather. Consult your doctor about how best to cope during a heatwave. Call 999 in an emergency.
  • Look after your health in a heatwave, so plan ahead to reduce the risk. Stock up on items you may need like sunscreen and rehydration tablets.
  • Outdoor activities like like swimming in open water, can be dangerous in hot weather. Learn basic first aid skills to treat burnsheat exhaustion, and spot heat stroke to help in an emergency.
  • Vehicles can be affected by high temperatures and long periods of hot weather. To stay safe on the road, check your tyres, fluid levels, battery, and air conditioning work. Carry water in your car in case of a breakdown.
  • Know who to contact in an emergency. You can call NHS 111 for medical advice or 999 in an emergency. Download the British Red Cross emergency app for more information.

Resources that can help you before and after a heatwave in the UK:

Staying cool and safe in a Heatwave

The UK is getting hotter and as a result of climate change, heatwaves are becoming more frequent and extreme. Hot weather puts people’s health and wellbeing at risk and knowing how to keep cool in a heatwave is essential. Make sure you’re prepared to cope with hot weather with our heatwave advice.