Summer is here!

For many of us, summer means holidays, spending time with the family, and enjoying the warm weather outdoors.

However, during summer it is also important to be aware of the risks of hot weather. Heat can cause illnesses such as heat cramps and heat exhaustion which can lead to the life-threatening condition, heatstroke. Heatstroke is fatal in up to 80% of cases.

To prevent heat-related illnesses follow these simple tips:

  • Drink plenty of water – Keep a full drink bottle with you and take small sips frequently.
  • Never leave anyone in the car – This includes adults, kids and pets. The temperature can double in minutes.
  • Stay somewhere cool – Spend as much time as possible in cool air-conditioned buildings. Block out the sun at home and open the windows at night or when there is a cool breeze. Stay out of the sun in the hottest part of the day. Dress lightly and make sure you wear a hat and sunscreen if you do have to go out.
  • Plan ahead – Keep up to date with weather forecasts and plan activities for the coolest part of the day. Check that fans and air conditioners are working well and prepare for power failures.
  • Check-in on others – Look after those who are most at risk in the heat, neighbours living alone, older people, young children, people with a medical condition, and your pets.

If you observe any symptoms of heat-related illness seek medical advice.

In our region, very hot days are also associated with hazardous fire weather conditions.

If you are living in a bushfire-prone area make sure you undertake fire preparation.

  • Reduce the risk of fires by cutting grass, clearing gutters, removing growth from around dwellings and generally removing bushfire fuel from the property.
  • Talk to your local fire service, family, friends, and neighbours about the fire risk where you live.
  • Make a fire plan for what you’ll do on hot, dry, windy days.
  • Plan what your trigger is to leave, and where you will go to stay safe.
  • Make sure you stay informed. Monitor conditions outside and tune into a local emergency broadcaster. You can check regularly or download the VicEmergency app.

Stay safe, have fun and enjoy the summer.