Take action to be prepared for unseasonably hot weather

14 September 2023

Australian Red Cross is asking people to prepare for, and to take action during the warm weather forecast in the coming days.

Higher temperatures are expected over the weekend, particularly in the south east of the country including Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.

Heatwaves and hot weather result in more fatalities in Australia than bushfires, cyclones and any other hazard.

Australian Red Cross NSW State Director, Kate Miranda is calling for everyone in Australia to get prepared.

“Heatwaves are extremely dangerous, and it's vital people have a plan to keep cool,” Ms Miranda said.

“When temperatures rise simple steps like keeping hydrated, staying indoors and wearing light clothing can make a significant difference”

Australian Red Cross tips for coping with the heat include:

  • Drink regularly, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Water is the best option. Avoid alcohol, tea, coffee and sugary or fizzy drinks as they make dehydration worse.
  • Eat little and often, rather than large meals. Try to eat more cold food, particularly salads and fruit, which contain water.
  • Stay indoors in the coolest rooms of your house or in the shade during the hottest part of the day.
  • Take cool showers and splash yourself with cold water several times a day, particularly your face and the back of your neck. A loose, cotton, damp cloth or scarf on the back of the neck can help you stay cool.
  • Air flow: Make sure there is sufficient air circulation, either from an air conditioner or by leaving a secured window or door open.
  • Find the shade: If you must go out, stay in the shade. Wear a hat and light-coloured, loose-fitting clothes, preferably made of natural fibres. Wear sunglasses and apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 30 to exposed skin. If you will be outside for some time, take plenty of water with you.
  • Look out for your family, friends and neighbours: If you know someone who might be susceptible to heat stress, stop by or give them a call and make sure they know what to do to stay cool.

For more information on how to get prepared for heatwaves and other emergencies visit redcross.org.au/prepare.

For media inquiries please contact: media@redcross.org.au, 1800 733 443.

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