How to prepare for climate change

What is climate change adaptation?

Even if we slow down climate change by reducing our carbon emissions we will still see some impact in the Bradford District. Adaptation is how we adjust to the different climate and the process of preparing for extreme weather.

The main weather events likely to impact on the Bradford district are:

  • floods 
  • droughts 
  • heat waves 
  • severe winds 
  • severe snowfall

Are you ready for climate change?

We need to prepare for the impacts of climate change, to reduce the risks to you, your property and the District.

The weather in Bradford is changing. The summers will become warmer and drier and the winters wetter and milder. Adapting to climate change must become a part of our life. We must adapt our property, communities and lifestyles for more extremes of weather.

Be prepared and take action - climate change is happening

We can all take simple steps to make sure we are ready for the extremes in weather:

Adapt your home and property

Flooding

You don’t have to live near a river for your property to flood, in Bradford surface water flooding is a big issue this is when rain cannot enter the drainage system so flows over the surface, this can affect property even at the top of a hill.

  • Flood proof your property. 
  • Keep valuables, precious items and documents on higher ground. 
  • Make sure you have insurance cover for your property and contents. 
  • Avoid tarmac or paving over the garden, as this prevents rain draining away.

More advice on flood proofing your home is available from the Environment Agency. Further information can also be found on Bradford Council's Flood Pages

Heatwaves and drought

Temperatures are likely to rise and we are likely to have more heat waves. The hot temperatures can affect our health, particularly young and elderly people. It may also affect the availability of water.

  • Install blinds at the windows. 
  • Create an area of shade in your garden where you can sit to cool off.

Try to conserve water:

  • Install a water butt, it's a good idea to connect it to a drainpipe. The rainwater collected can be used to water plants and wash the car. 
  • reuse bath water to water plants. 
  • Use mulch on the garden, a protective layer on the soil prevents moisture loss, you can also use pebbles, gravel, chipped bark, grass clippings. 
  • Take shorter showers, you could even fit a low flow shower head. 
  • Don't let water run while washing your face, brush your teeth while waiting for the hot water then fill a basin to wash or shave. 
  • Operate dishwashers and clothes washers only when they are fully loaded, or properly set the water level for the size of load you are using. 
  • Stop drips - a dripping tap can waste more than 60 litres a week, thousands in a year. Turn off all your taps fully and fix leaky taps around the home.

Better to act now – otherwise the impacts can be both costly and timely

Prepare yourself for extreme weather

Be aware of the impact the weather may have on you, people you know and the community.

Things to consider:

  • In a heat wave wear sun screen and a hat and drink plenty of water. 
  • Snowfall and icy weather can make people more prone to falls so take care. 
  • Weather can affect transport networks, making it difficult to get around. 
  • Services may be disrupted in times of extreme weather, winds can bring down power lines and water pipes may freeze during cold periods. 
  • Be aware of vulnerable members of your community they may need extra help. 
  • Be aware of the needs of any elderly or sick relatives. 
  • Have a list of emergency contacts and numbers. 
  • Be prepared for an emergency have a plan and an emergency kit bag.

It is important to identify

  1. What the risks are 
  2. Who is most vulnerable 
  3. Have a plan of action ready

More information about preparing for emergencies can be found in Bradford Council's Emergency Planning Section