THE Met Office sends out weather warnings for the UK when the country faces potentially dangerous conditions.
But what do these warnings mean and how can you stay safe in extreme weather conditions? Here’s what you need to know.
Getty Images – Getty Driving in the snow can be potentially dangerous
What does a severe weather warning mean?
The Met Office warns the public about severe or hazardous weather which has the potential to endanger lives or cause widespread disruption through the National Severe Weather Warning Service.
Warnings are issued for rain, snow, wind, fog and ice and are colour coded depending on both the likelihood of them happening and the impact of conditions.
In general, a severe weather warning means there is danger to life, prolonged disruption and strain on emergency services, transport routes and travel severely impacted and extensive damage to buildings and property.
While an amber weather warning means people should be prepared for the conditions.
What do the different colours mean for weather warnings?
Yellow weather warning
Yellow means “be aware”. Severe weather is possible over the next few days and could affect you.
Plan ahead and think about possible travel delays or the disruption of your day to day activities.
Keep an eye on the latest forecast and be aware that the weather may change or worsen, leading to disruption of your plans in the next few days.
Amber weather warning
Amber means “be prepared”. There is an increased likelihood of bad or extreme weather, potentially disrupting plans and causing travel delays, road and rail closures, interruption to power and the potential risk to life and property.
Be prepared to change your plans and protect you, your family and community from the impacts of the severe weather.
Red weather warning
Red means “take action”. Extreme weather is expected.
Take action to keep yourself and others safe from the impact of the weather.
Widespread damage, travel and power disruption and risk to life is likely.
Avoid dangerous areas and follow the advice of the emergency services and local authorities.
What is a ‘do not travel’ warning?
A warning not to travel unless necessary can be issued to people living in areas worst affected by poor weather conditions.
On January 18, in the midst of Storm Fionn, drivers were urged not to travel in Scotland and northern England as snow storms hit.
It was believed to have been the first issued since the high winds of January 2013.
How do I drive safely in wind, snow and ice?
The best advice is – don’t drive unless absolutely necessary.
But if you genuinely do have to drive, make sure you prepare in case you get stranded in a snow drift.
Take food, water, blankets, a torch, a first aid kit, a fully charged phone, a shovel, jump leads and de-icer fluid.
Make sure you clear all your windows – it’s actually illegal to drive if you can’t see out of all of them.
Try to stick to major roads which should have been gritted and make sure you have a full tank of fuel, and check the oil and other engine fluids before you set off.
Keep your distance – it can take 10 times as long to come to a stop in icy conditions compared to normal.
At least 20 seconds’ distance from the car in front is recommended.
Remember to drive smoothly and don’t brake or accelerate harshly, otherwise your tyres will lose grip.
Keep the radio turned off or down low so you can hear the difference if you hit an icy patch.
If you do skid, don’t brake – take your foot off the accelerator and let the car slow down itself.
London News Pictures Drivers often can end up stranded if they travel in snow, so only go if your journey is absolutely necessary
How do I drive safely in fog?
Again, don’t drive unless you absolutely, absolutely have to.
But if you do, then go very slowly, and keep your headlights dipped – otherwise they will reflect off the fog and visibility will be even worse.
Don’t drive close to the car in front, even if it feels reassuring to stay near someone else.
Keep your fog light on but make sure to turn it off if visibility improves as otherwise it will dazzle drivers behind.
Watch out for freezing fog as this is often coupled with an icy road surface, making driving even more treacherous.
How do I drive safely in heavy rain?
Before you set off, check that your windscreen wipers are working and that your tyres have enough tread.
Drive slowly and make sure you keep plenty of distance from the car in front as your stopping speeds will be impaired by at least double.
Keep your car heating on to prevent windows from misting up, and watch out for big vehicles such as lorries which could spray you.
Who Is Peter Kay’s Wife Susan Gargan, When Did She Marry The Comedian And Do They Have Any Children?
COMEDY legend Peter Kay has been a happily married man since back in 2001.
Here’s everything you need to know about the stand-up superstar’s wife Susan Gargan and the life they have made together.
PA:Press Association Peter and Susan have been married since 2001
Who is Susan Gargan and when did she marry Peter Kay?
Susan Gargan is the wife of comedian, Peter Kay.
Little is known about her and her life away from the spotlight, as the family choose to keep their personal life private.
She met her soon-to-be husband Peter in a nightclub in Bolton in 1998.
At the time, Susan was working in their local Boots and Peter was working in the local cinema.
Peter Kay married Susan Gargan in 2001 after being in a relationship for three years.
In a bid to maintain a normal family life, Peter and Susan have opted to keep their marriage and children away from the limelight.
Rex Features Peter and Susan keep their home life out of the spotlight completely
Do they have children?
Peter and Susan welcomed their son, Charlie Michael Kay, in 2003.
The pair named him after their fathers, with Charlie being the name of Susan’s late father.
Speaking to the Mirror shortly after his son’s birth, Peter praised life as a family man.
He told the paper: “Fatherhood has changed me – it has to change you.
“It makes you much more aware of the minutiae of life, it’s not about your needs any more, its about everyone elses.”
It is reported that Peter has two other children – and in interviews he frequently refers to more than one child – but they have been kept out of the spotlight completely.
Where Is The St Patrick’s Day 2018 Parade In London? Route, Start Time And Performances At Trafalgar Square Revealed
MORE than 1250,000 take to the streets of London for the annual St Patrick’s Day weekend, now in its 16th year.
The city transforms into a melting pot of green with countless events taking place across the city. Here’s all the important info…
Alamy Live News London will host a whole weekend of St Patrick’s Day celebrations starting March 16
First of all, when is St Patrick’s Day 2018?
Each year, St Patrick’s Day falls on March 17.
In Ireland, the day of celebration has been a public holiday since 1903 and the first parade was held in Waterford that year.
In the UK, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother would present bowls of shamrock flown over from Ireland to members of the Irish Guards in the British Army.
The tradition carries on today with the Irish Guards still wearing shamrocks flown over from Ireland.
When is the St Patrick’s Day parade in London and what’s the route?
While the festivities start on Friday, March 16, the parade takes place on Sunday, culminating in a performance in Trafalgar Square.
It begins in Hyde Park corner at 12pm and goes through Piccadilly, Haymarket, Trafalgar Square before and finally City Hall in Whitehall where several talks will take place.
The procession will feature Irish marching bands, energetic dance troupes and spectacular pageantry, the Mayor of London claims.
“London is home to the biggest Irish population outside of Ireland, and this is when we gather to celebrate!” said Gary Dunne, Creative Programmer of London’s St Patrick’s Cultural Festival.
A parade starting on Hyde Park corner will go through Trafalgar Square and end in Whitehall
What events and performances are there to enjoy?
London Mayor Sadiq Khan vowed to the most “impressive showcase of Irish culture, heritage, food and talent the city has ever seen”.
It will include Irish dance performances in Hackney, Jazz in Enfield, music classes in Croydon and open air gigs in Camden Market.
Trafalgar Square will host the focal point of the festival on Sunday with a world-class line-up of Irish culture and community on the main stage.
Brave Victim Of Male Rape Comes Forward To Reveal Harrowing Ordeal By Two Men
A VICTIM of male rape who worked on Coronation Street’s David Platt rape storyline, has bravely come forward to tell his experience of being attacked.
In the soap’s storyline the character David Platt is drugged and raped by a new friend Josh Tucker.
MEN Media Sam Thompson has come forward to speak about his ordeal of being raped
While the long-running drama is fictitious the harrowing experience of Sam Thompson, a 23-year-old DJ, his experience of being raped is all too real.
Sam, who was a script adviser on the storyline, was raped by two men after a night out in Manchester in 2016.
Sam told the Manchester Evening News that at first he didn’t realise what was happening to him and only remembers snippets of the ordeal.
It was only when the pain kicked in that he fully realised.
MEN Media Sam Thompson worked as a script adviser on Coronation Street
Sam, then 22, had lived in Manchester for just a few weeks when his horrific ordeal occured.
He had moved to the city from Newark, Nottinghamshire, with his then-girlfriend, to pursue his dream of becoming a professional DJ.
Keen on exploring the city’s nightlife, he and his best friend Brady hit the pubs and clubs in the city centre.
After a series of vodka shots, they ended up losing each other.
Sam, who had also lost his mobile phone, started chatting to a group of people outside a club.
Thinking nothing of it, he accepted an invitation to join around seven people for another drink.
It was now the early hours of morning and Sam followed the crowd and found himself in a hotel room.
Sam eventually was left alone with just two men, who persuaded him to stay for a final drink.
Then the ordeal started.
Sam said: “My memory is hazy, but the next thing I remember is one of them pulling off my trousers.”
What followed was an ordeal which lasted hours – with the two men taking it in turns to rape him.
He didn’t fight back but froze.
He has since been told by a therapist that people respond to trauma in different ways and the ‘fight, flight or freeze’ response kicks in.
He remembers leaving the hotel at around 8am, after the men had finished.
After finding his bearings, he staggered towards his home in a daze. At that point, he was unable to comprehend the enormity of what had just happened.
MEN Media Sam Thompson has spoken out in an attempt to help other men come forward in the same situation
When he got back to his flat he found his girlfriend and best mate Brady waiting for him, worried about where he had been.
At that point, he “just came out with it” and told them he’d been raped.
“I just burst into tears,” he said. “They didn’t know how to react. Brady put his arm around me and my girlfriend just broke down in tears.
“I just hadn’t expected this to happen. I just wanted to have a shower but they told me to go to the police.”
As the three friends made their way to the nearest police station, his girlfriend managed to intercept two PCSOs, who advised them to make a statement.
Injuries to his arms were photographed and he was asked to give details of what he could remember to a specially trained officer.
He says he was also asked questions about his sexuality and if the complaint was genuine.
Sam now realises that the questions he was asked were necessary for the police investigation, but he found it a harrowing experience.
He was taken home by a police officer and told not to shower or change his clothes until his appointment at the Sexual Assault Referral Centre at 10pm that night.
Corrie’s David Platt, played by Jack Shepherd, who is raped in the soap
Exhausted after his ordeal, he managed to sleep only briefly before the forensic examination, where he was internally examined, given blood tests and advice on sexually transmitted diseases.
“It was not a nice ordeal to go through and being given things like HIV advice is horrible, but at that point I had already made a report.”
Desperate to leave Manchester, Sam was driven home that night to Newark, where he spent the next month ‘dazed’ in front of the TV.
But Sam slowly became determined not to let the attack destroy his life and now say his attitude was not to let the rapists win.
Sam returned to Manchester, started DJing again and got a job as a recruitment consultant But avoiding the issue just made the problem worse and Sam’s relationship became a casualty of what happened to him.
Having lost interest in sex and finding it difficult even to kiss another person, his relationship ended in January 2017.
Not long after, he was told by police that the case had been dropped against two men who had been arrested in connection with his rape.
He was told that it would be difficult to prove he had not consented to what had happened.
Shortly afterwards, however, Sam suffered a breakdown and was advised by the specialist officer who had handled his case to contact Survivors Manchester.
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