Green Cross Australia

This is a Green Cross Australia project

Empowering a resilient Australia

Well-built chicken coop

Ensure your chicken coop is well-built and can withstand winds, rain and high heat days

Heatwave general: stay informed

Keep up to date with the Bureau of Meteorology ACT forecast for extreme heat events. Listen to local news and weather safety updates.

Pick one room to cool

Don't worry about keeping the whole house cool, just concentrate on keeping one room cool where your whole household can congregate. This will mean it stays at an optimum temperature and you are keeping your energy bill down.

Use your air conditioner well

Set your air-conditioning to 25°C (or no lower than 23°C) so it's the most comfortable and cost effective. Clean the filter pads on your air-conditioner regularly.

Keep your air conditioner serviced

Prepare your home early. Service or replace your air conditioner before hot weather or a heatwave hits.

Reflect the heat out

Turn metal blinds so the more reflective side of the blinds is facing outwards

Ventilate your home

If its safe, keep your windows open at night for ventilation

Plan to keep your house cool

Plan a cooling system for extreme heat, like which windows to keep open and which blinds to shut

Shield windows

Changing the way your rooms are shaded both inside and out can keep your home up to 70 percent cooler in the summer.

Heatwave house: Cooling plan

Plan a cooling system for extreme heat, like which windows to keep open and which blinds to shut

Heatwave family: stay hydrated

Drink plenty of water throughout the day, and avoid caffeine and alcohol

Heatwave family: Cool places

Identify a cool space (library, shopping centre, cinema) which you can relocate to if your home gets too hot

Heatwave family: Heat stress

Know the signs of heat stress so you can help yourself and others should you need to.

Heatwave family: Sunscreen

Apply a SPF30+ sunscreen every two hours

Heatwave family: Vulnerable people

Extreme heat can affect everyone, but depending on a number of factors it can impact some people more than others.

Heatwave family: Cool packs

Keep cool packs to have in the fridge or freezer to help you cool down if needed

Heatwave family: Activity

Plan to do your shopping or outdoor activities in the cooler parts of the day, staying indoors or in the shade whenever possible, and avoid strenuous activity.

Heatwave family: Clothing

Keep cool by wearing lightweight, loose-fitting and light coloured clothing during hot days. Wear a hat outdoors to protect your face and neck from the sun.

Heatwave family: Carry an umbrella

In hot weather, an umbrella is a great source of temporary shade

Heatwave family: Cars heat up quick

Never leave children, pets or older adults unattended in cars even if the air-conditioning is on.

Keep out of the heat!

If you need to be outside, keep in the shade as much as possible stay hydrated!

Heatwave older adults: Aware of the risk

Be aware of the risk for heat-related stress for older adults, remembering some medications can also interfere with the ability to sweat.

Heatwave older adults: have someone call to check

If you are an older adult, you are particularly vulnerable to extreme heat. Ask a friend, relative or neighbour to check on you twice a day during extreme heat, especially if you live alone.

Food Safety

Keep your food safe and stored in the fridge if necessary so it won’t go off. Ensure you have enough so you won't need to go out as often during the hot weather

Heatwave babies: Heat-related Stress

Monitor your baby for any signs of heat-related stress. If you think your baby is suffering from heat related stress, seek medical help immediately.

Heatwave babies: Keep babies out of sunlight

Keep babies out of direct sunlight, especially between 10am and 3pm. If you have to go outside, make sure your baby's skin is protected from the sun.

Heatwave babies: Hydration

Check on babies regularly and keep an eye on nappy changes - if your baby is well hydrated they should be wetting their nappy regularly

Heatwave babies: Clothing

During extreme heat, dress your baby in light, loose clothing (singlet and nappy, loose top).

Heatwave babies: Temperature for sleeping

Let your baby sleep in the coolest spot in your home. Make sure air can circulate around their cot a don’t leave babies to sleep in a pram.

Heatwave babies: Cars

Babies can overheat very quickly in hot weather, especially in cars. Avoid travel in hot weather and if you need to travel do it early in the day.

Heatwave babies: Shading capsule

Don't block airflow around capsules. Covering a baby capsule with a rug or towel for shade may seem like a good idea, but actually restricts airflow and makes the baby hotter. Instead, keep an umbrella on hand and avoid being out in direct sunlight

Heatwave babies: Hot surfaces

Check how hot baby strollers and car seats are before you put your baby in, as they heat up very quickly.

Heatwave children: be aware of the risk

Be aware of the risk for heat-related stress for young children as they may not have developed the ability to adjust well to changes in temperature, making them vulnerable to heat-related stresses.

Heatwave children: heat-related stress

Be aware of and monitor children for signs of heat-related stress. These can include include tiredness, irritability, fewer wet nappies, nausea, vomiting, headaches, dizziness or faintness.

Heatwave children: keep children hydrated

Offer children a drink of water frequently – before, during and after play and make sure you send water with your child to school or childcare.

Heatwave children: avoid the hot part of the day

Avoid outside activities with children in the heat of the day (between 11am and 3pm).

Heatwave children: cool clothing

Dress your child in appropriate clothing for hot weather for example clothing that is lightweight, light in colour and isn't too restrictive.

Heatwave Children: hat and sunscreen

If your child has to go outdoors during extreme heat, make sure your child wears a wide-brimmed hat and 30+ sunscreen.

Heatwave children: Food safety

If your childcare centre requires that your child bring their own food, ensure you pack appropriate food for hot weather.

Heatwave pets: Heat-related Stress

Know how to spot the signs of heat-related stress in your pet and if they appear overheated, seek medical advice immediately.

Heatwave pets: Cool spots

Make some cool areas for your pets, place their bed in the shade, let them sleep inside if you are using air conditioning

Heatwave pets: Fresh water & food

Give your pets lots of clean, fresh water and don't leave their food out in the sun

Heatwave pets: Exercise

If you have a dog, avoid walking it in the heat of the day.

Heatwave pets: Cars

Never leave your pet unattended in the car

Keep birds cool

In hot weather, carry a spray bottle to periodically moisten your bird's feathers and keep them cool.

Heatwave house: Cool one room in your house

Don't worry about keeping the whole house cool, just concentrate on keeping one room cool where your whole household can congregate. This will mean it stays at an optimum temperature and you are keeping your energy bill down.

Heatwave house: Shield windows

Changing the way your rooms are shaded both inside and out can keep your home up to 70 percent cooler in the summer.

Heatwave house: ventilate your home at night

If its safe, keep your windows open at night for ventilation

Heatwave house: is your air conditioner working?

Make sure your air conditioner is in working order, seals are tight and filters are clean. Also make sure that your home seals properly to keep the cool air in.

Heatwave apartment: Plan to keep your apartment cool

Plan a cooling system for extreme heat, like which windows to keep open and which blinds to shut

Heatwave apartment: Shield the windows that get the most sun

Changing the way you shade the rooms in your apartment can make a room 70 percent cool in the hotter months

Heatwave rural: Prepare staff on your property

Discuss heat precautions with anyone working on your property

Heatwave rural: Provide shade and water

Designate and establish areas for those working on your property to cool off and provide water for everyone.

Heatwave rural: be prepared for power outages

In extreme heat there is often an increased energy demand for cooling which can lead to overloaded energy systems and power outages. Be sure you have a plan in place should you lose power on your property.

Heatwave retrofit: Ceiling fan

Install ceiling fans to make your home more comfortable and cost effective.

Heatwave retrofit: Veranda

Consider constructing a Pergola or veranda. Paving directly under north-facing windows reflects heat into the house. Adding pergolas or verandas in these areas can provide extra summer shade.

Heatwave retrofit: plant trees

Use trees, vines and shrubs to shade your home

Heatwave retrofit: insulate

Install insulation in your home. This will help keep it cool in summer and also keep it warm in winter.

Heatwave retrofit: insulate hot water system

Water heaters radiate heat which can be easily contained by insulation and prevent excess heat from being released inside your home.

Heatwave retrofit: external walls

Ensure external walls (especially those which face west) are light coloured to reflect heat and keep your home cool. External walls can have a big impact on the temperature of your home.

Heatwave retrofit: roof colour

Paint your roof a light colour to reflect sunlight and keep your home cooler

Heatwave retrofit: Roof vents

Install roof vents to allow heat to escape your attic

Heatwave retrofit: flooring

Replace carpets with wooden floors or tiles so your flooring is cooler