Friday, 27 November 2020 10:21

Start of summer means keeping your cool, Western Sydney

People aged over 65 are more vulnerable to the effects of extreme heat People aged over 65 are more vulnerable to the effects of extreme heat

Media Release 27 November 2020 Like any extreme weather event, planning ahead for heatwaves can save lives. As summer kicks off with a sizzle, the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) is calling on everyone to think ahead about keeping cool and safe.

WSROC President, Councillor Barry Calvert, said “While we may shrug it off, heat kills more Australians than any other natural hazard, and is an increasingly urgent problem in Western Sydney.”  

“In recent years Western Sydney has seen increasing average temperatures, with a new record of 48.9 degrees set in January 2020. What’s more, recent research from Western Sydney University shows that localised heat can be much higher than official records – varying as much as ten degrees from street to street.

“Health risks increase dramatically during extreme heat, and can be very serious, especially for the elderly, those with chronic illness, pregnant women, small children, outdoor workers, and those without access to on-demand cooling.

“During a heatwave, people tend to retreat to the comfort of their air-conditioned homes. As a result, heatwaves can be very isolating for those without such luxuries.

“With this in mind, being prepared and planning ahead is important. There are steps everyone can take that will increase community resilience and ensure our more vulnerable people are supported.,” said Clr Calvert.

Beat the Heat checklist

Before the heat:

  • Keep an eye on the weather forecast
  • Plan your day’s activities to limit exposure to heat
  • Check in with others
  • Try to be indoors during the hottest part of the day
  • Know who to call if you need help

During the heat:

  • Keep yourself cool
  • Stay hydrated
  • Wear loose fitting clothing
  • Stay out of the sun
  • Splash yourself with water
  • Visit social-distanced cool places such as pools

Cooling your home:

  • Close windows and doors to keep the heat out. Curtains with light-coloured lining can help to reflect heat.
  • Use air conditioning or fans if you have access to them
  • Keep in touch with your neighbours

More heat-beating tips are available from the NSW Government’s website. You can also download the Red Cross Get Prepared app and put a plan in place to be ready for heatwaves.

Turn Down the Heat

WSROC and Western Sydney councils have identified urban heat and extreme heat as a key priority area for action. WSROC is working with councils and other stakeholders to implement actions to mitigate and adapt to heat in the region. These actions range from research, changes to planning controls, improving emergency response and education activities. More information can be found on the WSROC website:


Climate and resilience data sources:

Media contact: Kate O’Connell or Kelly Gee, 02 9671 4333, 0425 871 868 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Last modified on Thursday, 18 March 2021 11:20

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