Normandy Councils Ready to Activate Emergency Heat Wave Plan

SandYacht1With temperatures set to exceed 30 degrees in parts of Normandy this weekend councils are ready to put emergency heat wave plans into action to make sure people, especially the elderly and young, do not suffer in the heat.

They are also advising people to take care when it comes to swimming and to pay attention to notices both on the beaches and in lakes and rivers.

This weekend is also set to be a hot one on the roads with many people setting off on holidays in France and from the UK and other European countries.

Today (Friday 19 July) is level orange on the roads in Normandy with roads to the coast, especially popular beaches, and the A13 from Paris expected to be particularly busy.

Tailbacks are expected at the toll barriers at Mantes-Buchelay, Heudebouville, Beuzeville and at the intersection of the A132 towards Deauville.

Saturday has been placed under a red alert for traffic jams and drivers are being advised to leave early and allow plenty of time for their journey. They are also being advised to make sure they have plenty of water in their cars to drink if they get stuck in traffic jams.

The weather forecast is for temperatures to remain in the high twenties throughout Normandy this weekend and into next week with the risk of thunderstorms. Some areas will see over 30 degrees such as the Orne and south of Calvados but a sea breeze will see coastal regions a few degrees below.

France has a national emergency plan that was drawn up after the heat wave of August 2003 when 15,000 people died in France as a result of the hot weather. Each department is responsible for activating the plan and it usually comes into effect when there has been three days of temperatures exceeding 31 degrees and three nights of more than 18 degrees. It involves vulnerable people being evacuated from their homes if they are too hot.

People are being asked to make sure that the elderly, disabled, homeless, children, pregnant women and other vulnerable people have enough to drink and stay in the shade wherever possible. People taking part in sporting events are also advised to take care in the heat as are people working outdoors. The official advice also tells people that the heat can aggravate certain health conditions and it can affect certain medications. People are advised to consult their GP if they are concerned.

Other advice includes keeping shutters or curtains shut to keep homes cool, making sure that fridges are functioning properly to keep food at the right temperature and people who find their home is too hot are advised to visit places that have air conditioning such as shops, cinemas and museums.

About Ray Clancy

Ray Clancy has 20 years experience in journalism including contributing articles to print and on-line publications such as, Property World Middle East and websites for estate agents. She has also written for the Daily Telegraph and Mail on Sunday.

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