CBR be ready for severe heatwave this week

Released 14/01/2019

Canberrans and visitors to the national capital are being warned of a severe heatwave forecast for the ACT and the increased risk of heat-related stress and illness.

The Bureau of Meteorology forecasts severe heatwave conditions for the ACT and surrounding region with temperatures expected to reach 40 degrees by Wednesday.

ACT Ambulance Service Chief Officer Howard Wren and Acting ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman urged Canberrans to be ready for the high temperatures this week by knowing how to avoid heat-related stress.

“It’s important for the community to be aware of the risks associated with prolonged periods of hot weather, in particular those in our community that are more vulnerable including the elderly, young children and babies.

“There are some simple summer safety tips, which we encourage all Canberrans and visitors to follow including to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and to avoid being outdoors between 11am and 3pm and seek shade when outside,” Dr Coleman said.

ACT Ambulance Service Chief Officer Howard Wren said this was also a good reminder for Canberrans to look after each other.

“We should make regular checks on family members, friends and neighbours this week for the symptoms of heat exhaustion including nausea, dizziness, fainting, weakness, headaches, vomiting and loss of sweating,” Mr Wren said.

“If you, or someone else is showing signs of heat stress we urge you to call triple zero (000) immediately.

“It is also important for people with chronic medical conditions to continue with their usual medications and see their GP if they are feeling unwell,” Mr Wren said.

ACT Rural Fire Service Chief Officer Joe Murphy also urged Canberrans to ensure they have their Bushfire Survival Plan ready and encourages residents to understand the Fire Danger Rating levels.

“Extreme weather conditions consistent with those we’re expected to see over the next week will make a fire extremely difficult to manage.

“It is important to give yourself and your property the best chance of survival during a bushfire threat and to do that you need to seriously prepare and plan ahead. Make a Bushfire Survival Plan, it’s only four simple steps and could save your life,” Murphy said.

For more information on summer safety and preventing heat-related illness, visit: https://www.health.act.gov.au/about-our-health-system/population-health/summer-safety

For information about bushfire prone areas and preparing for emergencies visit;

- Statement ends -

Section: ACT Health Directorate | Media Releases

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