What is a heatwave?
A heatwave is a period of unusual and very uncomfortable hot weather that can impact human health and community infrastructure including power supply, public transport and services. Heatwave is lethal - more people die annually from heatwave than bushfire
Heatwaves can affect anybody and cause illnesses such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke which may be fatal.The most important things to remember during a heatwave are:
- Keep cool
- Drink plenty of water
- Stay out of the sun
- Look after yourself and others
During December, it is recommended to prepare for upcoming heatwave. Steps that can be taken to prepare for the heat in advance include:
· Consider how you will keep your house cool and how you could make it cooler, for example by installing external blinds on the sides of the house facing the sun
· Check that your fan or air-conditioner works well
· Think of a place you and the family can visit to escape the heat if you need to – the Library, Community Centre or the Family & Children's Centre are all options – check with Council on their availability. The swimming pool extends its opening hours in times of heatwave or consider visiting a family or friend's house or pool. A list of cooler places and their contact details can be found here Cooler Places in Times of Heatwave
· Think of friends, family or neighbours who might be vulnerable and how you could care for them
· Think about what you would do if a heatwave causes power failures
The new Surviving the Heat heatwave brochure lists other things you can do to take care of yourself and look out for family, friends and neighbours who may need help coping with the heat.
For 24 hour health advice contact Nurse-on-Call on: 1300 60 60 24
For life threatening emergencies dial 000
The Better Health Channel website has more information and a range of fact sheets available on how to best cope during a period of hot weather.
Survive the Heat Poster
Extreme heat and heatwaves - health.vic