WITH the temperature heading towards 40°C over the weekend, the authorities in areas of France will put into place le Plan Canicule.
This is a series of measures designed to help older people, and those whose health is affected by high temperatures, keep cool and not struggle as the heatwave sweeps in.
The plan was brought in after the canicule of 2003, when it was estimated that around 15,000 people died and the government was heavily criticised for failing to act quickly.
There is an information line 0 800 06 66 66 (free from fixed lines) and le Plan Canicule website offers simple steps you can take to keep cool this summer such as ensuring you are not outside during the hottest part of the day.
If you are out and about make sure you are wearing a hat and cotton clothing that is both light in colour and loose fitting.
Cooling yourself down with showers and by drinking plenty of water is also important, and keep an eye out for older neighbours who may struggle in warmer temperatures.
Offer to help them to keep their house as cool as possible, closing shutters during the day, opening windows at night, or buying a fan from the supermarket if necessary.
Météo France is saying Saturday will be very hot, with the evenings also warm, but temperatures should begin to fall early next week.