Prepare for Extreme Weather

Health authorities are warning Queenslanders across all regions of the state to be on alert, as the extreme weather events sweep in.

Queensland Health has stood up the State Health Emergency Contact Centre and activated the State-wide Heatwave Response Plan.

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Queensland Acting Chief Health Officer Dr Sonya Bennett is urging people to take precautions against dehydration and other heat-related conditions.

“Anybody can be at risk of heat-related illness but infants, the elderly, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and people with some pre-existing medical conditions are particularly vulnerable.”

“Be alert to the symptoms of heat-related illnesses which can range from heat rash, muscle cramps, and heavy sweating, to paleness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and fainting.

“Drink plenty of fluids, preferably cool water, regularly throughout the day – don’t wait until you’re thirsty.”

“Stay indoors when possible, preferably in a building with air-conditioning or good air flow, and limit strenuous outdoor activity.”

“Stay cool by taking cool showers, soaking feet in water or wearing a wet bandana or washer around your neck.”

“Always check the colour of your urine to ensure you are well-hydrated – it should be clear to light straw-coloured, not dark or gold.”

Queensland Ambulance Service has experienced unprecedented workloads this week, primarily due to heat and fire.

Clinical Director Hucker says it’s important people are aware of the signs and symptoms associated with heat-related illnesses.

“Look out for headaches, nausea, cramps, fainting, excessive sweating, tiredness and dizziness. If you suspect someone may be suffering from heat-related illness, call Triple Zero (000) immediately, lay the person down in a cool spot, remove as much clothing as possible and give the person water to drink if they are able to swallow.”

“If possible, get them into a cold shower or bath, or cover them with a wet sheet to help cool them down.”

Dr Bennett also urged people to avoid touching bats that may be impacted by the heat.

“We know bats are being impacted by the heat. If you see a bat on the ground, don’t touch it even if you think it’s dead. Instead, contact your local RSPCA or wildlife organisation.”

With dust and smoke covering parts of the state, Dr Bennett said people with respiratory issues should stay indoors with windows and doors closed and avoid vigorous exercise.