Heat waves can have serious health impacts on people and animals, and in some cases can be deadly. Take steps to plan ahead and be prepared before and during a heatwave.

Be ready

Before the heatwave season

The best way to stay informed about heatwaves is through the Bureau of Meteorology Heatwave Service (operational during summer season only), as well as their Facebook and Twitter pages. The Early Warning Network also features heatwaves warnings and updates on their daily Significant Weather Alerts Threat Map, Facebook and Twitter pages. You can also keep up to date with emergency warnings by listening to local radio and television broadcasts.

Your heatwave emergency plan may include having plenty of water bottles on hand, knowing who to call if you need help, following your doctor’s advice if you have any medical conditions, making sure there is an emergency kit nearby in case of a power failure.

Be safe

During a heatwave

Wearing light, loose fitted clothes, seeking shade and taking cool showers.

Try to maintain a cool temperature indoors by keeping your windows closed with the blinds and curtains shut, and using fans and air-conditioning if possible.

Seek cool places in such as visiting a Lake Mac Swim Centre, one of our Lake Mac Libraries, a local shopping centre or cinema.

Be sure to check on people that may be particularly at risk in the heat such as young children and the elderly.

Make sure you understand the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness, and if you or you see someone else struggling in the heat, know what to do and when to seek medical advice and assistance. Heat-related illness includes dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and worsening of existing medical conditions. If you have a medical condition such as heart disease, diabetes, or kidney disease and if you take certain medications, heat can make your symptoms worse.

Make sure your pets have plenty of shade and enough cool water to last the entire day. Putting ice cubes in their bowl is a great way to help keep their water cool for longer. Check on them regularly and if they are not coping, consider letting them inside until the temperatures cool.

It’s important in hot weather to look out for our wildlife and native critters too. Make water available to them by putting out a shallow water dish in the shade next to some shrubs or bushes, so that it has some protection from predators and doesn’t heat up too much.

If you are unable to stay indoors, make sure you are resting regularly to avoid exhaustion. Avoid strenuous activity, be sun safe and seek shade where possible.

Page last updated: 04 May 2018