Monday, 20 September 2021 13:48

Be Heat Smart in Emergency Ready Week Featured

Local Emergency services at Hawkesbury City Australia day event Local Emergency services at Hawkesbury City Australia day event Hawkesbury City Council

Media release, 20 September 2021

WSROC calls on households to prepare for heatwaves this Emergency Ready Week, September 20 – 27.

Heatwaves are Australia’s number one natural killer and are considered an ‘extreme risk’ in most Western Sydney LGAs. However, often when we think about emergencies, it is events such as bushfires, floods and storms that come to mind.

President of WSROC, Clr Barry Calvert, said “Western Sydney experiences more extreme heat than other parts of Sydney, so it’s important that households are prepared for its impacts: power outages, public transport disruptions, financial stress, and worsening of health conditions.

“Heatwave is often referred to as the ‘silent killer’ because its impacts are less visible than other natural hazards. When heatwaves hit, many of us retreat indoors, which can increase isolation and risk to vulnerable groups - such as the elderly or chronically ill.

“Many people in our region struggle to stay cool during extreme heat, jeopardising health and safety – not just for vulnerable groups. The extra cost of cooling are simply unaffordable for many.

“WSROC heat-related projects - such as Heat Smart Western Sydney - aim to build better regional resilience to this increasing problem. In 2021, we have seen increasing awareness of the impacts of heat. Being heat ready is something everyone can do, before heat strikes,” said Clr Calvert.

“This Emergency Ready Week, we encourage everyone to plan for heat. Think about ways you can improve your home to keep it cooler over summer, ask your doctor if heat impacts your health, and consider who you know that might need support in extreme heat.

“WSROC encourages all Western Sydney residents to download an Australian Red Cross Rediplan or Get Ready app which have been designed to step you through the process of making a personal emergency plan.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO BE HEAT SMART THIS SUMMER

BEFORE SUMMER

Around the home

  • Check your air-con and fans are working well
  • Think about easy cooling modifications you can make to your home:
    • Thick, light-coloured curtains
    • External shading on the hottest walls of your home (garden shade cloth is a great low-cost option)
    • External shutters or awnings to protect windows.
  • Plan for what you will do if home gets too hot:
    • What cool spaces are there nearby?
    • How will you get there and back again?
  • Power outages are common during both heatwaves and summer storms. Prepare a blackout emergency kit so it’s ready to go if you need it.

For your health

  • Many health conditions can increase your risk of heat illness. Ask your doctor whether your medications can increase your heat health risk and how to manage.
  • Do you know the signs of heat-related illness? Check the NSW Health website.
  • Keeping your body cool when you don’t have air-conditioning can include wetting the skin with a cloth or spray bottle and using fans.
  • Make a list of people you can call for help or to check in with during a heatwave – social connection and keeping in touch with others is critical for keeping yourself and others safe.

For more information on preparing for emergencies visit the Australian Red Cross website: https://www.redcross.org.au/prepare

[ENDS]

 

Media contact: Kate O’Connell, Kelly Gee, T: 02 9671 4333 E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Last modified on Wednesday, 29 September 2021 14:40

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