Heatwave is perhaps the most under-rated natural hazard.
Every summer people suffer from heat stress when the body absorbs more heat that it can dispel. Acting quickly can help reduce the risks of fully developed heatstroke.
Reduce the effects of a heatwave
- Wear lightweight, light coloured, loose, porous natural fibre clothes.
- Avoid strenuous activities and drink 2 to 3 litres of water per day.
- Avoid alcoholic, caffeinated or carbonated (soft) drinks.
- Do not take salt tablets unless prescribed by a doctor.
- Avoid heavy protein foods (e.g. meat and dairy products) which increase body heat and fluid loss.
- Keep your home cool with curtains, shutters or awnings on the sunny side and open the windows during the night.
- If you don't have air conditioning, use fans, damp clothing and have frequent cool showers.
- Spend as much time as possible in air conditioned buildings (e.g. shopping centres, galleries and museums) and avoid direct sun light.
- Wear a hat and sunscreen as sunburn limits your ability to cope with heat.
- If you work outside, keep your hat and clothing damp.
- Do not leave children and pets in parked vehicles.
- If you suffer a chronic illness or feel ill, see your doctor.
- Keep animals in the shade with plenty of water.
Stay Safe in the Heat