The UK’s Health Security Agency has issued a cold weather alert, with parts of the UK currently facing severe weather conditions during Storm Arwen.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is a government agency responsible for UK-wide public health protection, replacing Public Health England earlier this year.
High winds, rain and snow have battered parts of the UK, resulting in severe disruption to power networks and transport services. A number of people have also been killed by falling trees, according to reports.
The Met Office had issued Red and Amber weather warnings, though these have now expired with the weather service reporting that the storm is starting to ease and the strongest winds have passed. The strongest winds recorded in the storm were at Brizlee Wood in Northumberland at 98mph.
Agostinho Sousa, a Consultant at the UKHSA said:
“Cold weather can have a serious impact on health, particularly for older people and those with heart and lung problems, as it increases the risks of heart attacks, strokes and chest infections.
“It’s really important to keep checking on older neighbours or relatives, especially those living alone or those who have serious illness.
“Make a call, or a socially-distanced doorstep visit if they live close by, to remind them to heat their home to at least 18 Celsius, 64.4 Fahrenheit and to keep up to date with the forecast. It’s also helpful to check they have enough food and drinks and any medicines they need.”
Some severe weather warnings are still in place, while parts of Scotland and Northern England are expected to see very low temperatures and possible wintery showers on Sunday and into the start of next week.
Rail services are disrupted as a result of the weather, while some roads have also been blocked by trees and debris.