It is important that you understand how to look after yourself and others in a heat event — a period of unusual and uncomfortable hot weather. Heat events can cause illnesses such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which may be fatal.
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Are you at Risk?
Heat can affect anybody, but people most at risk are:
- older people over 65 years old, particularly those living alone without air conditioning
- pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and infants
- overweight or obese people
- 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
How to Stay Healthy in the Heat
1. Drink Plenty of Water
- 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)
2. Never Leave Anyone in a Car
- Never leave kids, adults or pets in cars – the temperature can double in minutes
3. Stay Somewhere Cool
- Keep yourself cool using wet towels, putting your feet in cool water and taking cool (not cold) showers
- Block out the sun by closing curtains and blinds
- Turn on air-conditioning or fans and open windows when there is a cool breeze
- Stay in cool or air-conditioned buildings. Our libraries, the Kilmore Leisure Centre and the Seymour Sports and Aquatic Centre are air-conditioned
- Stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day
- Avoid intense physical activity
- 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
4. Plan Ahead
- Keep up to date with weather forecasts – check the BOM forecast, watch the news and read the current heat health alert
- Cancel non-essential outings and plan essential activities for the coolest part of the day
- Stock up on food, water and medicines so you don’t have to go out in the heat
- Visit your doctor to check if changes are needed to your medicines during extreme heat
- Store medicines safely at the recommended temperature
- Check that your fan or air-conditioner works well. Have your air-conditioner serviced if necessary
- Prepare for power failures - ensure you have a torch, battery-operated radio, fully charged mobile phone or battery back-up, food items that don’t require refrigeration, medications, plenty of drinking water and other essential items
- Look at the things you can do to make your home cooler such as installing window coverings, shade cloths or external blinds on the sides of the house facing the sun
5. Check in on Others
- Look after yourself and keep in touch with sick or frail friends, neighbours and relatives
Call for Help
If you’re feeling unwell see your doctor or call NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 60 60 24.
In a life-threatening 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.
Caring for Animals in the Heat
Information on how you can manage your animals during hot conditions:
Community Infrastructure and Heat
Extreme heat can cause power outages and slow or delay public transport services.
More Information on Heat Health
The Heatwave Plan is a sub-plan of the Mitchell Shire Municipal Emergency Management Plan (MEMP) and Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan (MHWP).
The aim of the Heat Plan is to reduce the risk of harm caused by heat and heat events within Mitchell Shire.
View the Mitchell Shire Council Heatwave plan along with all other Emergency Management plans.
This page was last updated on 17 July 2020.