Beat the Heat


It's shaping up to be a hot Summer - do you know what to do to protect yourself and your loved ones against the heat?

Climate change is resulting in more hot days and extreme weather events, making it more important than ever to know the risks involved with a heatwave, how to prepare and what steps you can take to improve your safety.

Health tips for a safe Summer

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Plan your day around the heat - avoid being outdoors between 1pm and 5pm
  • Minimise physical activity in the heat
  • Avoid alcoholic, hot or sugary drinks
  • Check on elderly friends, neigbours and relatives, especially if they live alone
  • Wear light coloured, loose fitting clothes made from natural fibres like cotton
  • Take cool showers or baths
  • Cool your house by shading windows, shutting curtains and, it it's safe to do so, opening windows at night to let in cool air
  • If you have an air-conditioner, make sure it is working before you need it
  • If you don't have air-conditioning, spend time in a cool place like a library, shopping centre, cinema or public pool. Try to go early, so you're not outside in the middle of the day.

Be Prepared to Beat the Heat

What are the symptoms of heat stroke?

  • Dizziness
  • Intense thirst
  • Confusion and poor coordination
  • Headache
  • Dry skin
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Collapse
  • Loss of consciousness

If a person develops these symptoms:

  • Move them to a cool place
  • Cool them down by applying a cold, damp cloth
  • If they're conscious, encourage them to drink water
  • Call triple zero (000) and ask for an ambulance

*Health advice provided by NSW Health

Vist NSW Health for more information about heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses.

Make sure your pets have constant access to water and shade during the Summer months to help them stay cool, hydrated and safe. 

Animals can develop heat stress very quickly in hot weather - the RSPCA has some useful tips to help you take good care of them.

If you think your pet is suffering from heat stroke, contact an RSPCA veterinary hospital or your local vet immediately.

Stay informed about your heatwave risk by regularly checking the Bureau of Meteorology Heatwave Service.

The service includes:

  • Warnings of any severe or extreme heatwave within the next four days
  • Forecasts of heatwaves likely in the next seven days.

Hot weather can affect everyone, however those at greater risk include older people, people with existing medical conditions, babies and young children, outdoor workers, socially isolated people, people who are homeless and pregnant women.

NSW Health has some useful tips and advice to help you plan ahead and prepare for the heat, and look out for the people most at risk.

You can also find more guidance on planning for the heat, including:

  • How to prepare your home
  • How to keep food safe
  • How to manage your medications
  • What to do during and after a power failure
  • What to do when hot weather is forecast
  • What to do after the heat has passed

How prepared are you?

Test your knowledge by completing the Australian Red Cross Heatwave Quiz.

You can also find additional advice and resources to help you get organised before a heatwave, stay cool during a heatwave, and get help if needed as a result of a heatwave.

Need help staying cool this Summer?

Beat the heat by visiting any of these cool sites:

  • Libraries
  • Shopping centres
  • Movie theatres
  • Restaurants

The Disaster Risk Reduction Fund (DRRF) is jointly funded by the: