Staying safe this summer

thermometer on a orange background

It’s set to be a hot, dry summer. Here are some tips to keep you safe during extreme weather events.

An El Niño weather pattern has been declared by the Bureau of Meteorology for this summer. That means we can expect hot and dry conditions, with an increased risk of drought and bushfires.

Extreme heat can be dangerous. It poses serious health and wellbeing risks such as heatstroke and heat exhaustion – both of which can be life-threatening. Some people are more vulnerable to these conditions than others, such as babies and children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with pre-existing illnesses.

To help you stay safe this summer, we’ve rounded up some tips and resources so you and your loved ones can stay safe.

Checklist to prepare for the heat

Think about some of the things you can do now to help counteract high temperatures in the height of summer. These might include:

  • checking that your air conditioners, fans, fridges and freezers are working properly
  • installing blinds or curtains to help to keep extreme heat out
  • making sure you have ice packs and ice cubes in the freezer
  • booking a doctor’s appointment to chat about how you can best manage your medical condition in the heat
  • getting an emergency kit ready with a torch, batteries, radio, first aid kit, chargers and enough food and water for a few days
  • making a list of vulnerable friends and family members who you’d like to check in on during a heatwave
  • creating an emergency plan that you can print and share with loved ones – we recommend using the Get Prepared app which was created by the Australian Red Cross and NRMA Insurance
  • being bushfire prepared 

How to keep your cool

Once the mercury has risen, there a plenty of things you can do to help stay cool during a heatwave. Here are some ideas:

  • stay hydrated – water should be your drink of choice
  • think about what you’re wearing – light colours and loose fits will keep you cooler
  • stay out of the sun, especially during the hottest part of the day
  • a cold shower can quickly lower your body temperature
  • close your windows and blinds to keep the heat out
  • don’t forget your pets – they need water to drink and help them cool down too

Home too hot?

If you’re struggling to keep your home at a comfortable temperature, here are some air-conditioned places where you can go:

  • Stanton Library
  • your local community centre 
  • museum, art gallery, cinema or shopping centre
  • the home of a friend or family member

Resources to remember

Published: 8 December 2023