Residents and visitors encouraged to stay cool

Alpine Shire Council is reminding residents and visitors to look after themselves and others during extreme heat events.

Council’s Community Development Officer Jan Mock said many people were unaware that heat kills more Australians than any other natural disaster.

“Although we’ve had some reprieve from extremely hot weather, residents should be aware that during extreme heat events it’s easy to become dehydrated or for our bodies to overheat, and if this happens people can develop heat cramps, heat exhaustion or even heatstroke,” she said.

“Heatstroke is a medical emergency which can result in permanent damage to your vital organs, or even death, if it’s not treated immediately.

“Extreme heat can also make existing medical conditions worse.”

Ms Mock said residents should be aware of how to cope in extreme heat events and if possible check in on elderly neighbours and friends.

“Extreme heat can affect anyone however people over 65 who live alone are in a higher-risk category, along with those who have an existing medical condition such as diabetes, kidney disease or mental illness,” she said.

“Babies and young children are also at risk along with pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers and people who work or exercise outdoors.

“People should also be aware of the dangers of leaving anyone in a hot car, including children, adults and pets as the temperature inside parked cars can double within minutes.”

Some tips to cope with the heat are:
• Drink plenty of water, even if you don’t feel thirsty (if your doctor normally limits your fluids, check how much to drink during hot weather).
• Keep yourself cool by using wet towels, putting your feet in cool water and taking cool (not cold) showers.
• Spend as much time as possible in cool or air-conditioned buildings.
• Block out the sun at home during the day by closing curtains and blinds.
• Stay out of the sun in the hottest part of the day.
• Eat smaller meals more often and cold meals such as salads.
• Avoid heavy activity like sport, renovating and gardening.
• Watch or listen to news reports to find out more information during extreme heat events.

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