Extreme heat, including heatwaves, has led to more deaths than any other natural disaster in Australia. It is important to plan for extended periods of hot weather and heat waves, especially in an environment like Benalla Rural City, which is becoming increasingly prone to heat waves.
Extreme heat can affect anybody and cause illnesses including heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which can be fatal.
Stay healthy in extreme heat
People most at risk from extreme heat include those aged over 65, people who may have a medical condition such as diabetes, people with a disability, pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, babies and young children and people who work or are physically active outdoors.
If you are experiencing health difficulties due to heat exposure you should see your doctor, contact Nurse-On-Call on 1300 60 60 24 or for urgent assistance or in an emergency call Triple Zero (000).
Strategies for coping with heat
- Keep cool by spending as much time as possible in cool or air-conditioned buildings
- Drink plenty of water
- Stay out of the sun and wear a hat if you have to go out
- Avoid strenuous activity such as sports, home improvements or gardening
- Wear loose fitting clothing
- Never leave children, adults or animals in parked vehicles
- Stay in touch with sick or frail friends, neighbours or relatives
For further information on extreme heat and avoiding impacts to health for you and your family visit the Better Health Channel's 'Survive the Heat' page.
Keep cool at these facilities:
Long grass, dry leaves, debris and blocked gutters all require attention in advance of the fire and heat season.
It is the responsibility of the owner or occupier to ensure their property is ready for fire and heat, with recommendations including:
- grass being less than 70mm high
- raking up dry grass, leaves and other debris
- keeping gutters clear of leaf litter
- storing flammable liquids and woodpiles away from the house
- storing LPG cylinders upright with the vent pipe facing away from the house
- detailing your Bushfire Survival Plan
The Council is responsible for reminding property owners to prepare for fire and heat under the Country Fire Authority Act 1958, which includes Council officers being authorised to inspect private land and serve Fire Prevention Notices, which direct owners or occupiers of land to take measures against fire hazards.