Department of Health

Heatwave Planning Guide: Development of heatwave plans in local councils in Victoria

The Heatwave Planning Guide is designed to assist local councils in addressing the risks associated with heatwaves at a community level. Internationally, heatwave plans are commonly used to minimise the health impact of heatwaves.

Heatwave planning includes:

  • identifying vulnerable population groups and the risks they face
  • identifying and agreeing on effective strategies, agency coordination and response planning to address those risks
  • implementing and activating the plan
  • evaluating the plan after each summer season.

This guide provides local councils with:

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

The benefit of activating a heatwave plan during extreme heat events is to reduce illness and death in the community by:

  • ensuring health information and support is readily available to the community, vulnerable population groups and their carers
  • increasing understanding of heatwave planning and management across council and key external stakeholders
  • developing partnerships and collaborative arrangements to better respond to heatwaves
  • increasing understanding of heatwaves in communities and increasing their capacity to respond during heatwaves
  • managing emergencies during heatwaves more effectively
  • developing long-term and sustainable behavioural change to minimise the impacts of heatwaves on health and wellbeing

It is intended that this guide will not only be a resource for local councils, but will be of assistance to other organisations likely to be involved in responding to heatwaves in Victoria


Date published
03 Jan 2012

Reviewed 28 June 2023

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