Environmental Health Hazards

Keeping Mob safe in the heat

Keep Mob safe in the heat by planning ahead, staying cool, checking in on Community and recognising heatstroke symptoms. 

Due to human-caused climate change, heatwaves are becoming more frequent and intense. Hot weather can be dangerous for our health and can even be fatal. Community infrastructure and services, such as electricity and public transport, can also be affected, so it’s important to keep Mob safe during hot weather, especially Elders, bubs, people who are pregnant, living with a medical condition or disability, or people who are without a secure home.  

There’s a number of ways to protect yourself and others in the heat. 

Plan Ahead and Stay Informed

Stay informed of heat wave warnings from the Bureau of Meteorology. Heat wave warnings are often issued days in advance. Check with your local councils as many offer advice or plans in case of heat waves. 

Have a plan for what you can do during extreme heat. How can you make your home cooler? Do you know community centres or Aboriginal gathering places you can go to escape the heat? Do you have a back-up plan if electricity, public transport or roads fail? 

Drink Water

On hot days, it’s important to drink plenty of water, even when you don’t feel thirsty. Avoid drinks that dehydrate your body. This includes black tea, coffee, alcohol and sugary drinks.  

Keep some drinking water in the fridge or even in the freezer. 

Stay Cool

Stay indoors on hot days, especially between 12PM and 4PM – usually the hottest part of the day. Try to stay somewhere with air conditioning. Use wet towels and fans to cool yourself down if you need. If you need to be outside, it’s best to go early in the day or after the sun sets.  

When in the sun – wear light clothing that covers your arms and legs, apply sunscreen to exposed skin regularly, wear sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat.  

Cold food and snacks can help you to stay cool. Fresh fruits and summer veggies will also help keep you hydrated, especially lettuce, cucumber, capsicum, celery, tomatoes, melons, and berries. 

Keep Mob Safe

Stay connected with Community. Check on kin, friends and neighbours, particularly the elderly, sick, and young who are vulnerable to the heat. 

Make sure pets have plenty of water and shade for the day. Call a vet if you are concerned about them. Care for wild animals by leaving out shallow containers of water in shady, protected places. 

Recognise the signs of Heatstroke

Heatstroke is a life-threatening condition that occurs when your body temperature reaches 40ºC or higher.

It’s important to recognise the signs and symptoms of heatstroke:  

  • hot and dry skin, typically no longer sweating, 
  • rapid, strong pulse, 
  • rapid, noisy breathing,  
  • dizziness, headaches and nausea,  
  • unreasonable, confused or aggressive behaviour, 
  • loss of consciousness, fits/seizures.  

Call 000 immediately if someone is experiencing heatstroke.  

Caring for someone with heatstroke

Move the person to a cool, shaded area, remove their outer layers of clothing and wet their skin with water.

VACCHO Heatwave Resource

VACCHO has been funded by the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action to develop a climate-change impact and adaptation resource for Mob. 

VACCHO, in consultation with Community and Members developed a resource providing practical tips for Community to keep safe during an extreme heat event. 

  • Heatwave brochure (download link coming soon)
  • Heatstroke fridge magnet (download link coming soon)

Links for additional information about heatwaves