Emergency advice and adverse weather

A person on the telephone

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Major emergency incident

Remember, in an emergency always dial 999
If there is a major emergency incident anywhere in Tees Valley the Local Authority response will be coordinated by the Cleveland Emergency Planning Unit. The unit provides an emergency planning service to the four Borough Councils of Middlesbrough, Stockton, Hartlepool and Redcar & Cleveland to ensure readiness in the event of an incident. An Emergency Planning Officer is on call 24-hours per day.

Visit the Cleveland Emergency Planning Unit website

Cleveland Emergency Planning Unit's Community Risk Register


Adverse weather

The UK Met Office issues warnings to the public in order for residents to prepare and protect themselves against the consequences of a severe weather event. Severe weather warnings are issued when the following conditions are expected.

  • Severe gales
  • Heavy snow
  • Heavy rain
  • Dense fog
  • Freezing rain/widespread icy roads

For further information on the latest local weather forecast and weather warnings please visit the Met Office website.


Heatwave advice

A heatwave can cause your body to become dehydrated and overheat, leading to exhaustion or heatstroke. Following the advice identified here should help you look after yourself and others during hot weather.

An average temperature of 30°C by day and 15°C overnight would trigger a health alert. These temperatures can have a significant effect on people’s health if they last for at least two days and the night in between. The Met Office has a warning system that issues alerts if a heatwave is likely.

For further information on what to do when a heatwave occurs, please visit the Met Office website. 


Storm advice

With a significant proportion of the borough being bounded by the River Tees and North Sea, the possibility of severe storms and weather cannot be discounted.

Severe gales are the most common cause of disruption and damage in the UK and may not only damage property and threaten life, but also seriously disrupt communications and utility supply infrastructure.

To report damage to trees please contact the Council's Care for For Your Area Service on 01642 391959. If you would like assistance outside of normal office hours (8am to 6pm), please contact the Council's Community Safety Team on 01642 528989.

The Met Office provides the following advice for when a storm is due, what to do during the storm and precautions to take after the storm.


Heavy snow

The following advice is provided by the Met Office, on precautions to take before, during and after heavy snowfall:

Before snow or ice

  • If you have to make a journey when snow is forecast, make sure you have the appropriate clothing, food, water, boots, a torch and spade
  • Let someone know when you are expected to arrive and the route you will take
  • Put grit or cat litter on paths and driveways to lessen the risk of slipping of compacted snow
  • Check on vulnerable neighbours.

During snow and ice

  • Avoid travel if possible.
  • If you go outside wear several layers of clothing and keep dry to prevent any loss of body heat.

After snow and ice

  • Be careful when walking on compacted snow - it may have turned to ice.
  • Take care when shovelling snow. Cold air makes it harder to work and breathe.

Driving on roads in winter

When driving on the roads in winter extra care should be taken, the Highways Agency provides advice on being prepared for the conditions:

During wintry weather conditions

  • Ask yourself - is your journey absolutely essential?
  • Check the local and national weather forecast.
  • Listen to local and national radio for travel information.
  • Clear your windows and mirrors before you set out and carry a screen scraper and de-icer.

If you get into trouble

  • On a motorway, it is best to use a roadside emergency telephone, as the breakdown /emergency services will be able to locate you easily. If you have to use a mobile phone, make sure you know your location from the numbers on the marker posts on the side of the hard shoulder.
  • If you leave your vehicle to get help, make sure other drivers can see you. 


Frozen watercourses

If a person or an animal becomes trapped in the ice, don't attempt to rescue them yourself. The freezing temperatures will quickly make you a casualty.

The best way to help is to dial 999 immediately and to give good directions to the emergency services to enable them to get there as quickly as possible. Think about where you are and if there are any landmarks nearby which could guide them. Try to speak to the control room operator clearly and calmly and give all the information you can.

Cleveland Fire Brigade offers the following advice:

  • Do not venture onto the ice
  • Ensure that children and animals are supervised at all times near any water / ice
  • Do not throw animals' toys / balls on to or near frozen water
  • If a person or animal does fall through the ice into the water call the emergency services immediately
  • Parents should talk to their children about the dangers of playing on ice and tell them that if they spot someone in the water they should not go in after them but contact the emergency services instead.

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