Preparing for Hot Days and Heat Waves on the Mornington Peninsula

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Extreme heat or heatwaves pose a significant health risk, and result in more deaths than all other natural disasters combined in Australia, including bushfires.

Some people are more vulnerable to heatwaves. More vulnerable groups can include people with medical conditions, children, older people, pregnant women, and people living in inadequate housing or experiencing homelessness. Beyond health impacts, extreme heat affects infrastructure, services, the environment, pets, and wildlife. Climate change intensifies heatwaves, straining emergency services, and healthcare services. 

Take heat seriously

Heat-related illness can range from mild conditions such as a rash or cramps to very serious conditions such as heat stroke, which can cause death.  

In an emergency call 000.

For more information on heat-related illness visit: Extreme heat - Better Health Channel

Before a Heat Wave

  • Download the Vic Emergency App – this is vital for staying informed and safe.
  • Consider how you will keep your house cool – open the windows overnight and then shut the house up early - consider external blinds on the sides of the house facing the sun. Close the blinds and curtains.
  • Check that your fan or air-conditioner is in good working order.
  • Think of friends, family or neighbours who might be vulnerable and what extra support they might need.
  • Reschedule or reconsider any plans that will involve a lot of sun exposure.
  • Be prepared in the event of a heat related power outage. Tips on how to prevent and to prepare for a power outage can be found here. Power Outage – Emergency Prepare
  • Have a radio or mobile phone available for updates - Find your local radio frequency. Melbourne and Mornington Peninsula ABC Radio - 774 AM

During a Heat Wave 

Keep cool – seek shelter from the heat in your home or in the shade. Cool your body down by wetting the skin with spray bottles, cold water immersion, wet clothing, misting fans, foot immersions in cold water. Circulate the air around you by using fans and air conditioning if possible. If it’s just too hot at your place, consider visiting an air-conditioned place.

Stay hydrated – Drink more water during hot weather (200mL every 15 to 20 minutes), regardless of how active you are. Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink. Drink plenty of water or other cool, non-alcoholic fluids. Avoid alcohol or drinks that contain lots of sugar.

Protect yourself outside – if you must be outdoors, protect yourself from the sun.  Cover exposed skin with lightweight clothes, natural fibres if possible, such as cotton or linen, use sunscreen, wear a hat, and sunglasses.

Move in the cooler parts of the day - whether it’s work or play, too much physical activity on a hot day can lead to heat stress. If you can, restrict activity or travel to cooler parts of the day.

Never leave people or pets in cars – even on cool days or if the windows are left open a fraction. Cars can heat up to dangerous temperatures very quickly. People and pets left unattended in parked cars for even a few minutes are at risk of serious heat-related illnesses and possibly death.

Watch out for others – check on people who may need help coping with the heat.

Watch out for your pets – provide shade outdoors and lots of fresh, cool drinking water.  Consider freezing a mix of diluted stock and treats to make a cooling ice block.  Bring your pets indoors during the hottest part of the day.

Fill up your bird baths with water or leave water outside for wildlife.

Download the Shire’s Hot Tips for Staying Cool flyer here.(PDF, 1MB)

Useful web links 

Are you prepared for a heatwave?