Safety and first aid

Prepare for a heatwave

Heatwaves occur when the minimum and maximum temperatures are much hotter than usual for three or more days at a location.

In the event of a heatwave, it is important to prepare yourself and your home for the change in weather conditions.

Preparing for a heatwave

  • Check air-conditioners and fans are working and set to the ‘cool’ setting.
  • If you need to service or replace your air-conditioner or fan, do so before summer.
  • Keep your home cool by keeping windows closed and shutting all blinds and curtains.
  • Have a battery, solar or wind-up powered torch and radio available. Have spare batteries on hand.
  • Stock up on food so you are less likely to have to go outside. Take care when you buy, store and handle food in hot weather to reduce the risk of food poisoning.
  • Wrap medications needing refrigeration in foil or heat repellent containers with an icepack to keep them cool if there is a power outage.
  • Keep electronic devices such as mobile phones and laptops charged.
  • Keep in regular contact with family, friends and neighbours.
  • If you have acute or chronic medical conditions, talk to your doctor about the best ways to cool down during very hot weather.
  • If your doctor normally limits your fluids or you are on fluid tablets, you may need to check how much to drink in hot weather.

Get informed and stay up to date with heatwave alerts (external site) and make sure to listen to radio and television weather reports to plan for hot days.

Last reviewed: 18-11-2022

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional advice. Information about a service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace professional advice. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified professional for answers to their questions.