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Stay healthy in the heat

As the state heats up this summer, it’s important to look after yourself and those around you

24/01/24
On a hot summer day, the central Melbourne can be baking hot. The skyscraper reflecting the sun and heat. The botanical gardens

As the state heats up this summer, it’s important to look after yourself and those around you. Check out the latest tips and advice for hot days ahead.

Extreme heat can affect anyone, but older and younger people and those with medical conditions are at greater risk. Heat can cause illnesses such as heat cramps and heat exhaustion which can lead to the life-threatening condition, heatstroke, which is fatal in up to 80% of cases.

Preparing for extreme heat can make hot days safer and more manageable. Here are a few tips to stay cool and well this summer:

Planning for hot weather and heatwaves

  • Follow weather reports
  • Plan ahead – schedule activities in the coolest part of the day, avoid exercising in the heat and cancel non-essential outings.
    • If you must go outside, wear a hat and sunscreen, and take a bottle of water with you.
  • Review medications and any chronic disease care plans – if you take medications, talk to your doctor about the risk of heat-related illness in hot weather.
  • Check your electrical items and prepare for outages – ahead of hot weather, check that your fan or air-conditioner works well. Have your air-conditioner serviced if necessary.
  • Stay hydrated – drink plenty of water and reduce caffeine and alcohol.
  • Stay cool – keep curtains closed and spend time in the coolest room of the house. Turn on your air conditioner to ‘cool’.
  • Remember – never leave kids, adults or pets in cars. On hot days the temperature can double in minutes.

For detailed advice, visit the Better Health ChannelExternal Link .

Learn the fire danger ratings

Did you know a new Fire Danger Rating system was introduced in 2022?
The ratings are now consistent across Australia. So, whether you're at home or travelling interstate, you will see the same rating system.

The ratings help you decide what actions to take to protect yourself and others from bushfires and grassfires.

Fire Danger Ratings will be issued on days when there is a fire risk. Each fire danger rating will have a clear set of messages including the actions the community can take to reduce their risk.

To learn more about the ratings and what to do, visit the CFA websiteExternal Link .

Prepare for emergencies

Victoria is one of the most bushfire-prone areas in the world, so it’s vital to plan ahead. Everyone could be affected by a fire at some time. Fire risk is most extreme if you live around or near the bush or grasslands.

It’s important to think ahead about the supplies you may needExternal Link , and to ready yourself emotionallyExternal Link for the potential impacts of an emergency.

The VicEmergency website and appExternal Link is your one-stop-shop for advice on how to prepare for and respond to emergencies and natural disasters.

Know what’s happening around you by:

Reviewed 24 January 2024