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 the development and review of heat plans

Extreme heat and heatwaves can affect health by both directly causing heat-related illness and indirectly by precipitating or exacerbating other medical conditions. Extreme heat and heatwaves also affect Victoria's natural, built and economic environments, often through the compromised operation of critical infrastructure, facilities and services. As such, good preparation and changes to organisational processes may be required to reduce the risk to public health during extreme heat and heatwaves.

Heatwave planning guide for local councils

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. 

Heat health planning guide for health and community services

The Heat health preparedness guidance for health and community services has been written with and for health and community services to provide considerations for their preparedness during extreme heat and heatwaves. This document contains practical suggestions for what organisations can do to minimise the effect of extreme heat and heatwaves on staff, patients and clients, the facilities and the services provided.

The document also explains the recent changes to the department's heat warning system following the introduction of the national heatwave warning service by the Bureau of Meteorology.

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.

Reviewed 15 December 2022

Health.vic

Contact details

Emergency Management Branch

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