Beat the Heat

Beat The Heat

Quick Heatwave Plan

  1. Drink plenty of water
  2. Stay in a cool place
  3. Have a cool shower
  4. Know your medications
  5. Check on friends and family

In an emergency, phone 000.

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Prepare for a heatwave

  • Check fridge, freezer, fan and air-conditioning are working.
  • Place extra cool packs in fridge.
  • Stock up on healthy food so you don’t need to go out.
  • Check your Emergency Kit is ready in case of power failure. This may include a torch, batteries, candles, matches, battery operated radio and first aid kit.
  • Create a cool room to go to during hot weather.
  • Purchase a hand-held fan and water spray bottle to help keep you cool.

If possible:

  • Add curtains with pale linings in rooms that get a lot of sunlight to help reflect the heat. Avoid dark reflective curtain linings and metal Venetian blinds as they absorb heat and can make rooms hotter.
  • Place external blinds, shutters or other shading on windows.

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During a heatwave


  • Drink water frequently
  • Avoid sugary drinks, alcohol and caffeine.
  • Close curtains, windows and doors early in the day to keep cool. In the evening, open secured windows to allow cool air in.
  • Have a cool shower
  • Stay in cool areas as much as possible. Use a cool room with a fan/air-conditioning inside your home, or visit cooled premises – shopping centres, library, friend’s places or health centre.
  • Plan your day around the heat and avoid being outdoors between 11am and 5pm.
  • Check on elderly friends, neighbours and relatives, especially if they live alone.
  • Know your medications and check with your doctor for any side effects caused by heat. Keep medications in the fridge.

If you are worried about yourself or others, seek medical attention.

In an emergency, phone 000.

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Signs and Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion

  • Thirst, paleness and sweating
  • Weakness and discomfort
  • Rapid shallow breathing
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Rapid heart rate

Recommend cool, non-alcoholic drinks, resting out of the heat, taking a cool shower, bath or sponge bath, and wearing lightweight clothing.

Signs and Symptoms of Heat Stroke
Heat Stroke is a Medical Emergency - Phone 000

  • Core body temperature over 40.5°C
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Red, hot, dry skin (no sweating)
  • Rapid pulse
  • Severe headache/dizziness/nausea
  • Possible loss of consciousness
  • Rapid shallow breathing 

Encourage rapid cooling.

Prevent heat illnesses by drinking plenty of water and staying as cool as possible.

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Prescription medications


Many prescribed medications can make the risk of heat-related illness worse. Your GP will be able to advise how your medications can affect your health in the heat.

Some medications may become less effective or in some cases toxic when stored in the heat. Many need to be stored below 25°C.

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