A heat event is a period of unusual and uncomfortable hot weather that could impact on human health, community infrastructure (such as the power supply and public transport), and services. Heat events can affect anybody (person or animal) and cause illnesses such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke which may be fatal.
The most important things to remember are:
- keep cool
- drink plenty of water
- stay out of the sun
- look after yourself and others.
Heat kills more Australians than any other disaster. If you’re feeling unwell see your doctor or call NURSE_ON_CALL on 1300 60 60 24. In an emergency, call 000. Visit the Better Health channel for tips to survive the heat and for information about how to spot signs of heat related illness.
Visit our Animals in Emergencies page for more information on helping your pets or livestock through a heat event.
Who is Most at Risk?
Anyone can suffer from heat-related illness, but those most at risk are:
- people over 65 years old, particularly those living alone without air conditioning
- pregnant women, breast feeding mothers and infants
- people who are overweight or obese
- people with a chronic or mental illness
- people with health conditions that impair sweating
- people with limited or poor mobility
- people taking medications that may interfere with the body's ability to regulate temperature.
Advice for Staying Healthy in the Heat
- Drink plenty of water, even if you don't feel thirsty (if your doctor normally limits your fluids, check how much to drink during hot weather).
- Keep yourself cool by using wet towels, putting your feet in cool water and taking cool (not cold) showers.
- Spend as much time as possible in cool or air-conditioned buildings (for example, shopping centres, libraries, cinemas or community centres). Our libraries and the Kilmore and Seymour Leisure Centre are air-conditioned. Please visit our Customer and Library Service Centre page or our Leisure and Aquatic Centre page for opening hours.
- Block out the sun at home during the day by closing curtains and blinds. Turn your air-conditioning on if you have it. Use fans if you don't and open the windows when there is a cool breeze.
- Stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day. If you must go out, stay in the shade and take plenty of water with you. Wear a hat and light-coloured, loose fitting clothing.
- Look after yourself and keep in touch with sick or frail friends, neighbours and relatives.
Important Contact Information
For 24-hour health advice contact NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 60 60 24.
NURSE-ON-CALL is a phone service that provides immediate, expert health advice from a registered nurse, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
For life-threatening emergencies telephone 000.
Visit the Better Health channel for tips to survive the heat.
The latest 7-day forecasts can be accessed from the Bureau of Meteorology website.
Visit the SunSmart Website for UV alerts in your area.