There are simple steps you can take to plan and prepare for heatwaves – before they occur. Being prepared can help you to protect yourself and your loved ones, keeping you all safe and well.
- Monitor the weather and stay informed. You can use the Bureau of Meteorology Heatwave Service for weather forecasts to monitor conditions as they’re changing.
- Know who to call. Make a list of people and telephone numbers you can contact if you need help. The list should include the name and phone number of someone who can get supplies to you,or check in on your wellbeing. It should also have the contact details of your GP, local pharmacy and mental health care providers. In an emergency call triple zero (000).
- Learn the signs of heat related illness. Recognising the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke will help you to respond quickly if you or someone else you know becomes sick.
- Know your health. If you’re at higher risk of the health impacts of heat, you should get advice from your GP or other health care provider, before a heatwave. Ask about how your medications, diet, exercise and fluid intake may be affected by extreme heat and if your medications can make increase the risk of heat related illness.
- Always store your medications properly. Most medications need to be stored at a temperature below 25 degrees Celsius. Some medications can become less effective when overheated.
- Prepare your home. Check fridges, freezers, fans and air-conditioners are in good working condition. Clean or replace filters if needed. You can avoid direct sunlight entering your home by using blinds, curtains and shades.
- Prepare essential supplies and have an emergency kit. Essential supplies should include water, food, medications (stored at the right temperature), oral rehydration solutions (such as Gastrolyte or Hydralyte), or ice blocks, and a first aid kit.
- Look out for others. Keep in touch with friends, neighbours and relatives, particularly if they’re unwell or isolated.
- Don’t forget your pets. Make sure they have access to shade, shelter and water to keep them healthy and cool when the weather gets hot.