Communities and safety

Extreme weather

We have put together the following advice and guidance to help you during extreme weather which may affect the city from time to time.

For the latest weather updates visit

Snow and ice

  • Take care when driving and walking in wintry conditions and allow extra time for your journey.
  • If you have to make a car journey when snow is forecast, make sure you have warm clothes, food, water, boots, a torch and spade.
  • Key routes will be gritted when necessary -  find out which roads are covered and the location of your nearest grit bin.
  • Check for regular updates on whether buses and trains are running smoothly.
  • Stay away from frozen ponds and lakes in parks and the countryside, and keep pets at a safe distance.
  • Contrary to popular belief, there's no law stopping you from clearing snow and ice on the pavement outside your home or from public spaces. It's highly unlikely you'll be sued or held legally responsible for any injuries on the path if you have cleared it carefully. There are tips on the best way to do this in The Snow Code.
  • Any changes to council services (e.g. bin collections) and operating hours of council buildings due to bad weather will be publicised widely in the press, on local radio and on the internet and intranet.
  • School closures will be publicised on their website and local radio.
  • It's important that we look after our vulnerable and elderly neighbours, so please call regularly on those living nearby who may need some help - and make sure they are warm and have enough food and essential medicines.

Strong winds

  • Secure loose objects such as ladders and garden furniture to prevent them being blown into window.
  • Close and securely fasten doors and windows.
  • Where possible park vehicles clear of buildings, trees, high walls and fences.
  • Stay indoors as much as possible.
  • If you do go out, try not to walk or shelter close to buildings and trees.
  • Do not go outside to repair damage while the storm is in progress.
  • Do not drive unless your journey is really necessary.
  • After a storm do not to touch any electrical cables that have been blown down.
  • Make sure that any vulnerable neighbours or relatives are safe.

Heavy rain and flooding

  • If you are driving after heavy rain, slow down and look out for standing water.
  • In the event of a flood concentrate on the safety of yourself and your family; listen to the emergency services when they tell you leave your home; stay alert and check on your neighbours – especially the elderly or infirm.
  • Move your family and pets upstairs or to a high place with a means of escape.
  • Fill your bath, or as many jugs and saucepans as possible with clean water.
  • Turn off gas, electricity and water supplies if safe to do so and do not touch your electricity source when standing in flood water.
  • Call Floodline at the environment agency on 0345 988 1188 or 0845 988 1188 for warnings and information or visit


  • Keep out of the heat during the middle of the day (11am-3pm)
  • Avoid demanding outdoor activity such as sport or gardening
  • Keep in the shade and stay hydrated - drink water regularly - avoid alcohol
  • Keep cool - take cooling showers and stay in the coolest room in the house
  • Keep your family cool and safe - especially the old and the very young
  • If you go outside use SPF 15+ sunscreen, wear a hat and loose cotton clothing and always carry plenty of water

For more information, download our emergency planning guide.