Extreme heat is more than just hot weather. When it is extremely hot during the day and it does not cool down at night, it is hard for your body to cool itself. Babies and young children, the elderly, pregnant women and those who are already unwell are especially at risk but, in an extreme heatwave, even healthy people who do not take action to keep cool can become very ill.

Heatwaves have caused more deaths in Australia than any other natural hazard.

Heatwaves have always been a part of life in Australia. Global warming resulting in rising temperatures means extreme weather circumstances are likely to become more intense and frequent.

Heatwaves affect our:

  • health and wellbeing
  • energy and infrastructure
  • public transport
  • agriculture.

Heat can affect anyone. The elderly, babies, young children and outdoor workers are those at risk during a heatwave.

Read the SES Heatwave Checklist the SES Heatwave Brochure and the SES Heatwave Easy English Guide.  

Easy English Guide

Go to the SA Gov emergency site for more information about Extreme Heat emergencies.

SA Health has more information about staying healthy in the heat.

The Red Cross Telecross service has volunteers who call people who live alone or are at risk during heatwaves to check if they are ok. For more information about accessing Telecross please call Red Cross on 1300 885 698.

When the heat has passed:

  • continue to drink plenty of water
  • open windows and doors to let your house cool down.

‘Feeling Hot Hot Hot’ Heatwave hypothetical event, Feb 2009, Adelaide Town hall.