Environmental Hazards and Resilience Services

Our work has a huge impact on people's lives and livelihoods. Our scientific excellence underpins all our operations. By delivering value from science through its application, we're not just a service and data provider - we have a pivotal role to play in understanding people's needs and giving them the crucial advice and support they require to save lives, protect property and the economy. It is our trusted and established partnerships with government and the civil contingency networks that lead to effective action being taken when it matters.

Ready for when weather conditions pose a risk of interrupting our usual daily routine, the Met Office provides a number of services to help authorities prepare for, and respond to, emergencies. The weather can be the cause of an emergency and/or have a major influence on its impact, such as in chemical releases, nuclear incidents, large fires or biological hazards, including Foot and Mouth Disease.

Legislation supporting the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 states that Category 1 responders must have regard to the Met Office's duty to warn the public, and provide information and advice, if an emergency is likely to occur or has taken place.

This duty includes issuing severe weather warnings and plume predictions, together with tidal alerts (provided by the Flood Forecasting Centre). Linked to these services is advice, available from teams of Met Office forecasters, specialist scientists and advisors, on the interpretation and impact of the weather during an emergency.

This includes a team of Civil Contingency Advisors based at locations around the UK. Advisors work with emergency responders, such as the Police, Fire Services, Government Authorities and Utility companies. Meanwhile, Community Resilience groups provide a platform where we can provide advice on what actions could be taken, depending on the type of severe weather warning that has been issued.

In addition, we provide dedicated forecasts and warnings to Category 1 responders. For example, in addition to the National Severe Weather Warning Service, we provide the Environment Agency and Scottish Environment Protection Agency with detailed rainfall forecasts and warnings for assessing the risk of flooding.

Looking much further ahead, our rolling three-month outlook provides a general probabilistic guide, to rainfall and temperature themes that the UK could expect.

The following documents describe the range of services provided by the Met Office to help authorities prepare for and respond to emergencies: