A heatwave is a period of unusual and uncomfortably hot weather that can affect anybody.

It can also affect community infrastructure such as the power supply, public transport and other services.

Heatwaves can make existing medical conditions worse and cause heat-related illness, which may be fatal.

Take action to beat the heat

Heatwaves in Australia are becoming more frequent and more severe. It's important to be aware of the danger and to be prepared for days of extreme heat.

Take action to beat the heat

  • Keep yourself cool – Be aware of heatwave conditions. Extended periods of extreme heat will impact on health risks.
  • Manage your living space – Consider smart, simple and cost effective actions to maintain a comfortable home.
  • Improve your home – Understand the benefits of retrofits to your home and make necessary improvement to help keep your home cool.
  • Take emergency action – When you feel affected by extreme heat, you need to know what emergency action to take.
  • Heatwave Awareness – Be aware and understand the dangers of heatwaves and be prepared to take action.
  • Videos and case studies – See what locals have done to address heatwave.

Download the Heatwave Action Plan(PDF, 498KB).

Elderly residents who would like a copy of the Heatwave Action Plan can contact Council on 5471 1700.

For more information read on how to survive the heat this summer visit Better Health Channel or Heatwave Help.

Heatwaves in Victoria

Heatwaves can kill more people than any other natural disaster. However, they don't have to be dangerous, uncomfortable or exhausting.

Did you know that between 26 January and 1 February 2009, 374 deaths were recorded due to am extreme heatwave? This is significantly higher than the 173 lives lost during the Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria.

Victorians can expect to experience an increase in frequency and severity of heatwaves during the summer season.

It is important to take heat seriously and look after yourself and others.

Heat heath warnings

The Department of Health and Human Services has developed a heat health alert system to notify stakeholders – including the community – of forecast heatwave conditions which are likely to impact on human health.

When the heat health temperature threshold is reached in a specific weather forecast district a heat health alert will be issued by the Chief Health Officer.

Mount Alexander Shire is located within the North Central Weather Forecast District.

For more information visit Heat health warning.

Who is at most risk?

Anyone can suffer from heat-related illnesses such as cramps, heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

Those most at risk in a heatwave are listed below:

  • Senior residents (65+), babies, preschool children, pregnant and nursing mothers.
  • People with pre-existing medical condition e.g. diabetes, heart disease and mental illness, or people taking certain medications.
  • People with disabilities.
  • Culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.
  • Low income/homeless people.
  • People with limited transport options.
  • People living alone or with little social contact.
  • People who work and play outdoors.

Visit Heatwave Help for more information.

Take emergency action if needed

Heat may cause illnesses such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. More importantly heat may worsen the condition of someone who already has a medical issue such as heart disease or diabetes.

If you or someone you know are showing signs of heat illness, seek medical advice as soon as possible.

For 24-hour health advice contact Nurse-on-call on 1300 60 60 24.

For life-threatening emergencies phone 000.

If you are unsure, make the call anyway and find out what is the best course of action.