The Met Office has issued a Level 2 Yellow Alert for the West Midlands, meaning there is a 60% chance of a heatwave occurring between Sunday 18 July and Tuesday 20 July.
Temperatures are expected to reach the high 20s Celsius, with some regions (including Coventry and Warwickshire) potentially reaching or exceeding 30 Celsius.
The main risks posed by a heatwave are:
• Dehydration from 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
It sounds obvious, but a heatwave can affect anyone, the most vulnerable among us are most likely to be affected however. Older people – especially those over 75, those who live on their own or in a care home, people who have a serious or long term illness – including heart or lung conditions, diabetes, kidney disease, people suffering Parkinson's disease or other mental health conditions.
Others who may be affected included those who may find it hard to keep cool – babies and the very young, the bed bound, those with drug or alcohol addictions or with Alzheimer's disease. People who spend a lot of time outside or in hot places – those who live in a top floor flat, the homeless or those whose jobs are outside.
COVID-19 has not gone away either. Many of those who are at risk of harm from heat are also at greater risk of severe illness due to coronavirus (COVID-19) and may need to spend more time at home than they would usually. Others may need to stay at home because they are self-isolating or recovering from the infection.
To combat the effects of a heatwave, please drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol and look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated.
You can find further information about the Level 2 Yellow Alert on the Met Office Website.