Heatwaves and individual days of extreme heat can be dangerous, particularly for those more at-risk populations including people aged 65 years and over, babies and young children, and those with certain medical conditions. It is crucial to prepare for a heatwave to protect yourself and those around you by following these steps:
- Keep hydrated. Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can dehydrate you.
- Dress appropriately. Wear lightweight, light-coloured, and loose-fitting clothing. Avoid dark colours and heavy fabrics.
- Stay indoors. If possible, stay indoors during the hottest parts of the day (usually between 11 am and 4 pm). If you don't have air conditioning, consider going to a public place that does, such as a library, shopping centre or community centre.
- Keep your home cool. Use shades or blinds to block out the sun and set your air conditioner or a fan to a comfortable temperature.
- Check on those more at-risk. If you know someone who is an older person, has a medical condition, or is otherwise vulnerable to heat-related illness, check on them frequently to make sure they are okay.
- Be prepared for power outages. Heatwaves can cause power outages. Make sure you have a plan in place in case the power goes out, such as having a battery-operated fan.
- Know the signs of heat-related illness. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are both serious conditions that can result from prolonged exposure to heat. Know the signs and symptoms, such as dizziness, headache, nausea, and confusion, and seek medical attention if you or someone else shows these symptoms.