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Survive the heat this summer

Man checking on elderly neighbour at home.

Now that the weather is warming up follow these tips to stay cool this summer.

Wednesday 5 December 2018

With more heatwaves predicted this summer, Mount Alexander Shire Council is encouraging residents to plan ahead to beat the heat.

“Forecasts show the likelihood of heatwave is increased this summer compared to previous years,” said Lisa Knight, Director Corporate and Community Services, Mount Alexander Shire Council.

“Extreme heat kills more Australians than any other natural disaster so it is important to consider how you can look after yourself and others to survive the heat,” she said.

During extreme heat it is easy to become dehydrated or for your body to overheat which can lead to heat cramps, heat exhaustion or even heatstroke.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion range from muscle cramps, dizziness to nausea, vomiting and fainting.

“Everyone can be affected but the most vulnerable groups are the elderly, new babies and those with a medical condition,” said Ms Knight.

“There are some simple things we can all do to prevent dehydration and heat stress.

“Drink water throughout the day and take actions to keep you and your home cool. If you need to head out, leave early to avoid the hotter parts of the day,”

“Importantly, never leave children or pets in cars and don’t forget to check in on any vulnerable neighbours or friends who might be living alone,” she said.

If a heatwave is predicted there are some common sense things you can do to prepare. Stock up on food, water and medicines, and check your fan or air-conditioner is working well.

There are things you can do to make your home cooler like installing window coverings, shade cloth or external blinds on the sides of the house facing the sun.

Don’t forget that public transport may be affected by the heat. Trains may travel slower and some services may be delayed or cancelled.

If you or anyone else feels unwell on a hot day call NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 60 60 24, or call 000 in an emergency. For more information visit betterhealth.vic.gov.au/heat.

For information on how to keep your living space cool visit www.heatwavehelp.com.au.

Top tips for surviving the heat

Drink water - even if you don't feel thirsty, drink water. Take a water bottle with you.
Hot cars kill - never leave children, adults or pets in hot cars. The temperature inside a parked car can double within minutes.
Keep cool - seek out air-conditioned buildings, draw your blinds, use a fan, take cool showers and dress in light and loose clothing made from natural fabrics.
Plan ahead - schedule activities in the coolest part of the day and avoid exercising in the heat. If you must go out, wear a hat and sunscreen and take a bottle of water with you.
Help others – don’t forget to check in or look after those most at risk in the heat – your neighbour living alone, the elderly, the young, people with a medical condition and your pets.

Image: Make time to check on your neighbours on hot days.

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