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Time to turn up the heat on preparedness

12 January 2024

Australian Red Cross is urging Western Australia residents to take action and plan how they will manage forecasted heatwaves in the coming days.

With active Bureau of Meteorology extreme heatwave warnings for Goldfields, and South Interior Districts, and severe heatwave warnings for Kimberley, Pilbara, Gascoyne, Eucla, Lower West and South West Districts, now is the time to get prepared.

Australian Red Cross State Emergency Manager for Western Australia, Jennifer Pidgeon said heatwaves are more than just another hot day.

“These weather events can be extremely dangerous, and it's vital that people have a plan to keep cool, especially those who are vulnerable, older or unwell,” Ms Pidgeon said.

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

“Australian Red Cross’ website has useful resources on what to do in the lead up to and during a heatwave, so I encourage people to take a look and make a plan. You can also download the Australian Red Cross ‘Get Prepared’ app to complete your RediPlan online.”

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/ or download the Australian Red Cross ‘Get Prepared’ app.


Media inquiries: media@redcross.org.au or 1800 733 443

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