Year 8 Weather assessment How do people respond to storms? The government employs thousands of people to predict weather and to manage the impacts of bad weather. The Meteorological Office (Met Office for short, right) uses state of the art computers to predict the weather as accurately as possible. Occasionally they don’t get it right! You see their predictions on weather forecasts on television, on the internet and in newspapers. RESOURCE SHEET The Environment Agency then comes up with responses to bad weather – this might be alerting people in certain regions through the radio or TV news. It might involve roads being shut, or it might be in helping other organisations coordinate their response – such as the emergency services or local councils. Often they will advise people to stay at home in times of bad weather – certainly to make only essential journeys (this is what happened in the snow week of February 2009). The emergency services are put on high alert when bad weather is predicted – a terrible storm like in January 2007 will mean many calls for ambulances for the injured, and to the fire service to rescue people and put out electrical fires (right, below). Occasionally, the army are called in to rescue people, or like in the summer of 2007 when major floods contaminated the water system, distribute clean water. People often use sandbags to protect their properties, and move all their valuables and furniture to a first floor to avoid flood damage. On rare occasions, people are evacuated from their homes. Terrible storms can bring wind damage as well. People in Sheffield had to spend up to a week in a temporary shelter because of the flood damage to their houses: some have still not been able to return home.