Prepare to Sweat!!

26th November 2020
Heatwaves have caused more death in Australia than any other natural hazard. Three days or more of high maximum and minimum temperatures that are unusual for a particular location is considered a heatwave.

Before a heatwave

There are some things you can do to prepare for a heatwave.

Think about what you would do if a heatwave:

  • affected your health or the health of someone you know
  • caused loss of electricity
  • disrupted public transport.

If you live in a bushfire prone area consider your bushfire preparation.


  • how to stay healthy in the heat
  • the symptoms and treatment for heat-related illness
  • how to find out about heat-related events and alerts from the SES
  • what to do during power outages.

Get your home ready

Service your air-conditioner so that it's working before you need it. Clean and replace air filters according to manufacturer's instructions.

Have curtains with pale linings in rooms that get a lot of sunlight, to help reflect the heat.

Consider putting shading such as external blinds or shutters on windows in rooms that face west.

Create a cool area to go to during the heatwave. Ideally the area:

  • can be cooled using indoor and outdoor shading
  • has a fan or air-conditioning.

Check that your home can be properly ventilated without compromising security. Have insulation in the ceiling and walls to help keep the house cool.

Emergency kit

In case of a power outage, have an alternative source of power for radios and torches, and to keep mobile phones fully charged.

Looking after others

Identify family, friends and neighbours who may be particularly at risk during the heat. Make a plan to check on them regularly if a heatwave occurs.

The Telecross REDi service supports registered people by regularly calling them during heatwaves to check on their wellbeing.

To register yourself or someone you look after, phone the Red Cross on 1800 188 071 or email

For more information visit