Get in the know about the risk of heatwave and extreme hot weather
Heatwaves can kill. Extreme heat can be dangerous for anyone, but the risk of heat-related illness increase for:
- people aged over 65
- pregnant women
- babies and young children
- anyone experiencing anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress, or anyone with a medical condition that makes it hard to regulate their body temperature
- people new to an area or who are isolated
When temperatures climb, there are things you can do to stay safe and healthy, and help others.
- Learn the signs of heat stress, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Untreated, heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke, a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention.
- Download the Red Cross First Aid App or print out this guide and put it on your fridge.
- Check the forecast and plan ahead for shopping and appointments.
- Get to know the Bureau of Meteorology’s categories of heatwaves.
- If you have a medical condition – particularly, cardiovascular disease or mental health illness – talk to your doctor about how heat may affect you.
- Get plenty of sleep and connect with LifeLine if you are experiencing a personal crisis
Get connected and learn how to prepare for heatwaves before the mercury rises
Prepare your mind by thinking about how hot weather affects your mood and ability to think clearly. Get connected with these simple steps:
- identify three key support people. Include people who can help you with practical assistance, as well as emotional support and reassurance
- download our Get Prepared App to help you prepare for any emergency
- write down important phone numbers
- keep in touch with friends, neighbours and relatives, particularly if they're unwell or isolated
Get organised with these straightforward ideas and tips
Before it heats up, get prepared:
- look at the things you can do to make your home cooler, like installing awnings or shade cloths
- check fans and air-conditioners are working well
- stock up on food, water and medicines, and put ice blocks and packs in the freezer
- store medicines safely at the recommended temperature
There are ways to keep cool when the temperature rises:
- stay inside and keep out of the heat as much as possible
- if you go outside, wear light clothes, a hat and sunscreen, and take water
- plan shopping, appointments, exercise and gardening for early in the day, or ask someone to help
- keep your home cool by drawing the blinds, turning on fans or air-conditioners and opening doors and windows at night
- take cool showers, splash yourself with cold water, or use a cool damp cloth to cool off
- keep an eye on your mood and ability to think and plan. Seek support if you’re worried
- cool off at an air-conditioned shopping mall, community centre, library or your local swimming pool
- drink plenty of water, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol, tea, coffee and sugary drinks
- eat small meals and cold foods like salads and fruit.