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Take care in the heat; most vulnerable are hardest hit

With much of southern Australia sweltering under the current heat and energy problems, Australian Red Cross is urging people to take care of themselves and those in the community who need extra help.

Friday February 10, 2017

Red Cross South Australian Director Helen Connolly says the poor and most vulnerable are often the hardest hit by extreme weather.

'It is the young, the elderly, the sick and those without adequate housing that will continue to suffer most from the effects of a changing climate," she says.

"As extreme weather becomes more common, we will have to ensure that, as a community, we look out for those most vulnerable.

"It's essential that communities are supported to adapt to the changing conditions. Adapting everything we do to a new and changing climate is a shared responsibility. No one person, group, business or government can do it alone."

Severe heatwaves are forecast for much of New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria today with Melbourne expecting a top of 37 degrees, Adelaide will reach 42 and Canberra 36.

Ms Connolly says Red Cross is urging everyone to take extra care.

"Heatwaves can be extremely dangerous. They not only affect your daily activities, but can be a serious risk to your health and wellbeing. Heatwaves and hot weather kill more people in Australia than bushfires, cyclones and any other natural disaster, so it's important to adapt your activities and have a plan to keep cool.

"Whether it's heat exhaustion or heat stroke, they're especially dangerous for older people, young children and people with a medical condition. However, there are lots of things you can do to help yourself - and your family, friends, neighbours and pets - beat the heat and keep cool."

• Drink plenty of water
• Go to the coolest place you can
• Be aware of forecasts, and
• Check in with people who are alone or at extra risk

More advice is on our website: