Climate change means hot days and heatwaves are more intense and happen more often.
In Western Australia we had our hottest summer on record in 2022 and we know it's going to get hotter in coming years. Unfortunately, we also know that extreme heat is the number one cause of death from environmental causes in Australia.
It is critical to make sure you have easy to read and accessible information about how to keep yourself and your community safe during extreme heat. This kind of information can save lives.
We’ve put together a summary of important and useful information from many different sources, all here in one place for you to access. We will update this page from time to time, and if there are particular resources or pieces of information you think should be included here, please let us know by emailing email@example.com
Links to resources for further information will be included at the bottom of this page.
Extreme heat affects everybody, however some people are at much greater risk.
The people generally considered *most* at risk people are aged over 65 years, especially those living alone and with a medical condition such as diabetes, kidney disease or mental illness. Pregnant and breastfeeding women, infants and young children are also considered at higher risk of heat related illness or injury.
However, a wide variety of factors also affect how extreme heat impacts people:
Some medications may also affect the way the body reacts to heat such as
|Illness||Symptoms||What to do|
|HEAT CRAMPS||Muscle pains. Spasms in the abdomen, arms or legs.||
Stop activity and sit quietly in a cool place.
Drink cool water. Rest a few hours before returning to activity. See a doctor if cramps persist.
|HEAT EXHAUSTION||Pale complexion and sweating. Rapid heart rate. Muscle cramps, or weakness. Dizziness or headache. Nausea or vomiting. Fainting. Altered mental states. Slurred/non-sensical speech. Confusion.||
Go to a cool area and lay down.
Fan continuously. Drink cool water if not vomiting. Remove outer clothing. Wet skin with cool water, or wet clothes.
See a doctor
(a life threatening emergency)
Similar symptoms as heat exhaustion.
Sweating may stop. Mental condition worsens, confusion increases. Seizures and Stroke-like symptoms possible, or collapsing, unconsciousness.
Call an ambulance immediately.
Get the person to a cool area and lay them down. Remove clothing. Wet skin with water, and fan continuously. Always position an unconscious person on their side and clear their airway.
Some tips to staying safe during extreme heat:
In times of extreme heat it's really important to make sure we look out for our vulnerable friends, family members and neighbours.
If you know someone who doesn't cope well during the heat, make sure you get in contact with them *before* it gets hot, and stay in touch!
Like humans, animals and plants suffer during extreme heat too. Fortunately there is a lot you can do to help.
If it is an emergency, such as when somebody needs an ambulance call 000 immediately.Other hotline numbers which may be useful during extreme heat events:
Health Direct (Service) - 1800 022 22 - 24/7 health advice
Mental Health Emergency Response Line (Service) - 1300 555 788 (Metro), 1800 676 822 (Peel), 1800 552 002 (Rural link)
Kids Helpline (Service) - 1800 55 1800 - A 24/7, free, online and phone counselling service for people aged 5-25
1800 RESPECT (quick exit available) - 1800 737 732 - 24/7 phone and online counselling for people seeking help for domestic and family violence, and sexual assault.
Moorditj Yarning (Service) - 1300 364 277 - First Nations Mob Peer Support. Do you feel like having some space to talk about something on your mind? This is what Moorditj Yarning offers – a place and opportunity where you feel comfortable.
QLife Helpline National (Service) - 1800 184 527 - Helpline for people in the LGBTIQA+ community. Available daily from 3pm - midnight (AWST)
Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health (Resources Hub) - 02 6363 8444 - Hub for mental health services, financial assistance and advisory services for rural and remote community members.
Sane National (Service) - 1800 187 263 - Peer support service staffed by operators with lived experience of mental health, and a real time 24/7 forum.
People With Disabilities WA (Service & Resource) - 08 9420 7279 or 1800 193 331 - Advocacy, peer support, support with discrimination complaints, NDIS appeals and the Disability Support Pension, and resources for people with disabilites. Office hours: Mon - Fri 9:30 am - 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm or can leave a message.
Mensline National (Service) - 1300 789 978 - A 24/7 Counselling services available to men of all ages
Entrypoint Perth (Service) - 6496 0001 or 1800 124 684 - If you are living on the streets or in your car, couch surfing, facing eviction from your accommodation or escaping family and domestic violence, we may be able to help you
Suicide Call Back National (Service) - 1300 659 467 - A 24/7 Counselling Service for those dealing with suicidal thoughts or caring for someone who is. (Ages 15 and up).
We promised you a list of resources that you could dig in to for more information. Well, you we go!
This page and the list below is just a starting point. There are a number of other areas of heat management we have not yet provided resources around, such as your rights at work during extreme heat events.
Knowing when a heatwave is coming
First aid for heat related illness
Preparing for heatwaves in advance
Coping with extreme heat during the event
Communicating about extreme weather
Mutual aid advice and resources
Other relevant resources
If you have relevant resources you would like to see listed here please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org