Heatwaves in the UK: how to cope with extreme heat

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.

Heatwaves are extreme weather events and, because of climate change, they are becoming more common. In 2022 temperatures hit 40 degrees for the first time in the UK. In the coming decades, it is predicted periods of hot weather and heatwaves will be longer and more extreme. 

Extreme heat can be dangerous. It particularly affects elderly people, babies and children, pregnant women, and those with chronic health conditions People who live in urban areas and on the top floors of buildings can be especially vulnerable.

Find out how to prepare for a heatwave in the UK by exploring tips for keeping cool, learning first aid skills, and making sure you are prepared for when temperatures increase. 

Download our hot weather checklist

Check weather warnings from the Met Office

How to keep cool in a heatwave

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke first aid

Safety advice for UK wildfires and drought

Heatwaves in Europe and around the globe

Eastern and southern Europe experienced record-high temperatures during the summer of 2023 as multiple heatwaves hit the continent. Spain, France, Greece, Turkey, Portugal, and Croatia all experienced temperatures above 40 degrees in July, with parts of Italy reaching 48 degrees, setting new European records. Wildfires have also been a problem, with the Greek islands of Corfu, Rhodes, and the Algarve in Portugal particularly affected.

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 symptomsstaying 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.

Heatwaves and climate change

Hot weather advice in different languages

Hot weather checklists in different languages