Heatwave Preparedness: Resources to Keep Safe & Cool

25 January 2024 | Posted In: News

A severe heatwave warning has been issued for Sydney for Thursday and Friday. In Australia, extreme heat events are responsible for more deaths than all other natural hazard events combined, so it’s essential to have a plan to keep cool and hydrated before, during and after hot weather.

There is a mobile cool hub in Surry Hills – in the park next to the social housing in Surry Hills today and Friday for people at risk of or experiencing homelessness as a place of respite from the hot weather. The hubs use eco-friendly cooling strategies that have been lab-tested within the Heat and Health Research Incubator (HHRI), such as electric fans, misting fans, water dousing and hydration. The hubs are powered by renewable energy to provide relief without contributing to climate change.

NCOSS has put together some heat info and preparedness resources on their website, including:

· HeatWatch app – The HeatWatch app enables people in the community to estimate their personalised heat health risk based on location, age, activity level and clothing. The app also gives you easy cooling strategies based on science. The HeatWatch application is free via phone, tablet, or desktop.

· Beat the Heat webpage –  The Beat the Heat website has resources for people who are more at risk of heat-related health problems, as well as ready-made assets to share with your channels. These include Aboriginal Heat & Health Resources and shareable, translated resources in English, Arabic (العربية), Chinese – Simplified (简体中文), Chinese – Traditional (繁體中文), Croatian (Hrvatski), Filipino (Wikang Tagalog), Greek (Ελληνικά), Italian (Italiano), Macedonian (Mакедонски), Spanish (Español), Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt Nam).

· NSW Health – NSW has prepared a helpful guide to Protect your health this bushfire season. The brochure provides information on preparing for bushfire smoke and people at higher risk from bushfire smoke. This includes checking your prescriptions and health action plans are up to date, e.g. Asthma Action Plan if you have one.

For more information, see the NCOSS website. Thanks to South East Sydney Local Health District & Megan Nicholson, Director, Community Sector Disaster Capability Project, NSW Council of Social Service, for sharing this information.