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The heat is on this summer, and those stifling hot temperatures are here to stay. As we are in the peak of summer, preparing yourself and those in your care is essential to plan and respond to the extreme heat waves.

Whether you are an individual with a disability, a Support Worker, or a family member caring for a loved one, each person’s needs and abilities are unique. Creating an actionable plan for unexpected heat waves will help ease your or your carer’s mind and ensure everyone is safe during high temperatures. 

Here are some five valuable tips for you:

  1. Needed items: You must identify the resources you use daily and what you might need to do if they are unavailable or you are limited. If you require medications that require refrigeration and your power goes out, for example, or if you are out on a community outing, remember to plan arrangements for a cooling bag to keep your medications cool. If your power goes out or you are not home, a cooler bag will ensure your meals are chilled, and you won’t need to worry about hunger.
  2. Independence: When considering your health and safety during the heat, it’s helpful to pack a kit with extra resources such as wheelchair batteries, oxygen, food, water, medication or any other items you might need.
  3. Sun Protection: Remember to pack 50SFP sunscreen, a hat, long-sleeved clothing to protect your skin and a sun umbrella if you are outside during the heatwave. No matter where you are, plan to be at a location that has accessible entrances making it easy to get around. If you can find a sheltered area or an air-conditioned cafe nearby that’s also accessible, opt for a shaded location. 
  4. Recharge Your Communication Devices: Naturally, if the temperate reaches the high 30s, it is always wise to stay cool indoors! Heat can affect your health and wellbeing, so make sure to pre-charge your phone in case you wish to speak to a friend or you are prepared for any situation that may require going to the emergency, doctor or any specialist appointments. 
  5. Stay hydrated: Make sure you drink plenty of water, whether you are at home or out and about! Pack enough water for the day or plan an activity or outing close to a water tap.

Extreme temperatures can make you uncomfortable, but don’t worry! As long as you evaluate your personal needs or the person you care for, you are making a plan to ensure your safety during the heat waves. 

If you want to learn more about the disability services we provide, visit here or call one of our friendly staff on 1300 900 091.