Department of Health

Planning for extreme heat and heatwaves

Key messages

  • Heat plans help governments and organisations support members of the community who are most at risk during extreme heat and heatwaves.
  • The department has published resources to help planning for heat and reviewing heat plans.
  • Aged Care of Victoria has the Residential aged care services heatwave ready resource to assist services to plan and prepare for extreme heat events.   

The Heat Health Plan for Victoria  sets out actions to protect  public health during extreme heat.

The department also helps local government to support members of their communities most at risk of heat-related illness. The heatwave planning guide is available to councils to assist with their development of local heat plans and can be downloaded below. 

The  Heatwave plan review tool is available to guide and assist organisations as they review their heat plans. 

Aged Care in Victoria has produced a heatwave planning guide specifically for residential aged care services.

Heat health plan for Victoria

The Heat health plan for Victoria: Protecting health and reducing harm from extreme heat and heatwavesis the department's plan to prepare for and respond to extreme heat. The plan outlines a coordinated and integrated response to extreme heat in Victoria. It provides actions and systems in place to support at-risk groups during periods of extreme heat.

The Heat health plan for Victoria was refreshed in November 2020.

Heatwave planning guide

The Heatwave planning guide: development of heatwave plans in local councils in Victoria assists local governments to address extreme heat and heatwaves at the community level. 

The guide provides local governments with:

  • information about extreme heat and heatwaves and municipal planning
  • guidance on how to develop a heat plan
  • examples of stakeholders and partners to consider in the planning process
  • actions recommended for councils to incorporate in their heat plan
  • advice on developing a communication strategy.

Heatwave plan review tool

The Heatwave plan review tool provides guidance for organisations as they review their heatwave plans. The review tool provides:

  • information about the context of reviewing heat plans
  • suggested information to include in a heat plan
  • templates to capture data and feedback during the review process
  • ideas for facilitating discussion with clients, staff and stakeholders.

Heatwave planning guide for residential aged care services

The Residential aged care services heatwave ready resource has been developed to support residential aged care service providers develop their heat plans. It includes:

  • a specific checklist that can be used to assist with preparations for extreme heat.
  • heat health information for staff, residents and their families.

The resource is available from the Aged Care in Victoria website.

Heat health plan and framework evaluation

The department has developed a heat framework to reduce the impact of extreme heat on public health. In 2010, the department contracted Access Economics and the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI) to evaluate the heatwave framework that was in place for the 2009–2010 summer season. The evaluation considered components of the heatwave framework, including:

  • the Heatwave Plan for Victoria (now the Heat Health Plan)
  • the Heatwave Planning Guide
  • the Heat Health Alert System
  • communication resources.

Reviewed 30 December 2021


Contact details

Emergency Management Branch

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