Heat­wave con­di­tions com­ing, make sure you are pre­pared

The Riverine Herald - - COMMUNITY BILLBOARD -

WITH the mer­cury set to climb as high as 43C this week, lo­cals are be­ing urged to stay safe in the scorch­ing heat.

Tues­day and Wed­nes­day will be the hottest, both set to reach 43, with the low­est max­i­mum tem­per­a­ture a mild 33 on Satur­day. All far above Jan­uary’s mean max­i­mum tem­per­a­ture of 31 de­grees.

And with only 0.4mm rain­fall to date (a frac­tion of the Jan­uary av­er­age of 27.8mm) lo­cal firies are on high alert.

“This sea­son still has the po­ten­tial to be in line with Vic­to­ria’s dri­est fire sea­sons. It’s not a ques­tion of if there will be bush­fires this sea­son, it’s a ques­tion of when and where,” CFA deputy chief of­fi­cer Stephanie Ro­tarangi said.

Dr Ro­tarangi said on hot, windy days, such as those fore­cast this week, fires can start and spread quickly.

She urged Vic­to­ri­ans to learn what the fire dan­ger rat­ings mean and use them as trig­gers to take ac­tion to keep them­selves and loved ones safe.

“Talk to your house­hold, fam­ily or neigh­bours about your bush­fire sur­vival plan and check fire dan­ger rat­ings daily so you know when to leave,” she said. “The CFA web­site has more in­for­ma­tion and will help you use the fire dan­ger rat­ing to know when con­di­tions are dan­ger­ous enough to put your bush­fire sur­vival plan in to ac­tion.”

And while these temps may still be a lit­tle way off the all- time record for the month of Jan­uary – 45.6C on Jan­uary 13, 2016 – there’s no doubt Echuca-Moama will be hit­ting the pools and stock­ing up on icy poles to fight off the blis­ter­ing weather.

How­ever, the sober­ing re­al­ity is ex­treme heat kills more peo­ple in Aus­tralia than any nat­u­ral dis­as­ter, mean­ing lo­cals are be­ing urged to ex­er­cise cau­tion in the com­ing days.

Heat ex­haus­tion and heat stroke can oc­cur when the body’s tem­per­a­ture rises and the in­ter­nal or­gans start to shut down.

Symp­toms of heat ex­haus­tion range from mus­cle cramps and dizzi­ness to nau­sea, vom­it­ing and faint­ing.

This risk is higher for older peo­ple, par­tic­u­larly if they are on med­i­ca­tion, as blood pres­sure med­i­ca­tion, heart med­i­ca­tion, an­ti­his­tamines, di­uret­ics (wa­ter pills), an­tide­pres­sants and an­tipsy­chotics all af­fect the way the body re­acts to heat.

Lo­cals are also en­cour­aged to keep an eye on peo­ple at greater risk of heat ex­haus­tion such as neigh­bours who live alone, young chil­dren or peo­ple with a med­i­cal con­di­tion.

To stay safe dur­ing the heat, drink plenty of wa­ter, draw your blinds to keep the heat out, seek air-con­di­tioned build­ings and take cool show­ers.

If you or any­one you know feels un­well on a hot day call NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 60 60 24, or call 000 in an emer­gency.

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