Extreme hot weather and prolonged heatwave conditions can cause serious heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Heatwaves can affect anybody, but some population groups are more at risk than others:

  • people over 65 years old
  • people with a chronic medical condition or disability
  • people living alone.

Visit the Department of Health website for more information about extreme heat and heatwaves and heat health alerts, or visit the Better Health channel website.

Prepare your home for heatwaves

Heatwaves can make your home very uncomfortable and can be dangerous if you are particularly vulnerable to heat.

Air-conditioning brings relief during extreme heat but is expensive to run and has a big environmental impact. There are cost-effective ways to make your home more comfortable and reduce the need for air-conditioning including:

  • insulating your ceiling, walls and underfloor, and sealing draughts to stop cool air from escaping.
  • installing external sunshades or awnings, or planting deciduous plants near windows.
  • replacing halogen and incandescent bulbs with LED lights to reduce heat. LED globes can last 30 times longer and use a fraction of the electricity of older-style globes.
  • double-glazing windows or choosing less expensive options, such as secondary glazing, window films or blinds.
  • installing insect-proof security screens so you can open your windows and doors when it cools down outside.
  • installing quiet ceiling fans with high-efficiency motors.
  • choosing energy-efficient appliances that produce less heat when buying a new television, fridge and oven.

Heat health plan

Find out how we prepare for a heatwave in our Heat Health Plan, a strategy to assist, educate and alert vulnerable community members of a declared heatwave to help reduce risks.

For general information about emergency planning, see our Municipal Emergency Management Plan page.