Heatwave alert for Goulburn region

Posted on 30 Jan 2011

Please note: this is an old article

It was published in January 2011, so the information may be out-of-date.

Greater Shepparton residents, particularly the elderly and young children, are urged to take care and stay cool during the predicted heatwave conditions this week.

Greater Shepparton City Council Heatwave Co-ordinator Simon Rose said the Victorian Government's Department of Health (DOH) had issued an official heatwave alert for the Goulburn region, including Shepparton, for today (Monday 31 January) and tomorrow. 

The heatwave alert comes as maximum temperatures are set to reach 40°C today and 41°C tomorrow. A heatwave alert is triggered when the average of the daily maximum temperature and the overnight minimum will be above 30°C over a 24-hour period.

Mr Rose said the alert had been issued to notify residents of the extreme heat and to urge people to take precautions during the heatwave.

Mr Rose said there were six key things for people do in a heatwave:
• Keep out of the heat - look for shade and wear a hat;
• Drink enough water;
• Naturally cool your home, close windows and blinds in the day;
• Talk to your health service if you have health issues;
• Check on people who may struggle in the heat; and
• Help people who are feeling unwell.

"Council's primary objective during this alert phase is communicating this heatwave alert to the public," Mr Rose said.

"We will also be providing information on our website on staying safe during hot weather, and some suggested activities and location to go to.

"Anyone with specific medical queries should contact either their local GP or Nurse On-Call.

"If the situation is an emergency, residents are advised to call 000 immediately."

NURSE-ON-CALL, a phone service that provides immediate, expert health advice from a registered nurse, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 1300 60 60 24 for the cost of a local call from anywhere in Victoria. (Calls from mobile phones may be charged at a higher rate.)

Mr Rose said that Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, although not officially maintaining heatwave designation, would remain very hot during the day and overnight.

"During times of high temperatures this summer we ask that people look after those in our community who are vulnerable to the heat," Mr Rose said.

"It is a good time to remind people or businesses owners who have staff required to work out in the heat, to look to alternative work activities to ensure good health of their staff.

Residents will find fact sheets on heatwaves and heat related illness and a basic heatwave information poster that contains a number of languages other than English on Council's website www.greatershepparton.com.au.

BACKGROUND ON THE GREATER SHEPPARTON HEATWAVE PLAN

Greater Shepparton City Council received funding in 2009 from the Victorian Government to develop a Greater Shepparton Heatwave Plan.

The plan looks at what Council and other local agencies can do to support vulnerable people.

These vulnerable people are listed as people aged 65 years and over, children under 5 years of age, pregnant or nursing mothers, people with a disability or pre-existing medical conditions, those living alone with little social contact and people taking certain medications such as those for Multiple Sclerosis and for certain mental health conditions.

The plan has four stages, which are: Planning and Preparation, Heatwave Alert, Heatwave Response and Heatwave Recovery and Review.

The plan was developed by a Greater Shepparton Heatwave Planning Steering Committee that included representatives from Council, Goulburn Valley Health, Goulburn Valley Division of General Practice, Goulburn Valley Primary Care Partnership, Goulburn Valley Community Health Service, Department of Human Services and other local health and welfare organisations.