Heatwaves are a killer and are particularly dangerous for vulnerable people in the community.
The number of record hot days in Australia has doubled in the past 50 years. The CSIRO has predicted that climate change will lead to Victoria’s weather becoming warmer and drier, with heatwaves expected to be more frequent and more intense.
Extreme heat can affect anyone; however some community members are more susceptible to heat-related illness
- elderly people
- the very young
- those with pre-existing chronic illness,(cardiovascular disease, obesity,metabolic disorders, cognitive disorders)
- outdoor workers
- homeless people
- social isolated people
The responsibility for preparing and protecting vulnerable population groups is shared across state and local governments, health and community service providers and emergency management agencies.
In recognition of this critical public health issue, Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance coordinated a Heatwave health project between seven councils..
City of Greater Bendigo
Central Goldfields Shire
Macedon Ranges Shire
Mount Alexander Shire
The State Government funded project was a collaborative review and revision of heatwave management plans looking at how councils could share their resources to do more consistent planning and get better outcomes for their communities.
Project resources include
- a heatwave health planning template for Victorian local governments
- 7000 heatwave health packs for councils staff providing resources to educate community members about the dangers of heatwaves.
- an online video training tool with accompanying information (developed by the City of Greater Bendigo Heatwave Help project)
- case studies from community members showing how they keep cool
- practical information on adapting living spaces
The Heatwave Health project was funded from the State Government’s Victorian Adaptation and Sustainability Partnership (VAS Partnership) which helps the State Government and councils work together to support communities to become more resilient to climate change.
The resources developed throughout this project are available on heatwavehealth