Heatwave prompts hazard plan activation

Stock image.
Stock image.

A STATE hazard plan has been launched to help locals cope with the heatwave sweeping over Perth.

WA’s Department of Health said it had activated the plan based on forecast temperatures for the Perth area.

The plan gives the Department of Health the ability to communicate with healthcare providers and ensure they are ready to deal with any health casualties the Department gets.

Chief health officer Andrew Robertson. Picture: Nadia Budihardjo.

Chief health officer Andrew Robertson said some people were particularly vulnerable during hot stretches.

“There is a risk in any heatwave that we will certainly get some serious illness,” he said.

“Unfortunately we will probably get some deaths in this heatwave.

“The elderly, babies and those with chronic diseases are more prone to heat stress than most people.”

Bureau of Meteorology spokesperson Neil Bennett. Picture: Nadia Budihardjo

Bureau of Meteorology spokesperson Neil Bennett said the weather forecast for three consecutive 40 degree days would break records.

“If we get to three (days), we’ll break both the highest number of 40 degree days in December and also the consecutive number of 40 degree days,” he said.

“These are unusually high temperatures for this time of the year.”

The Department of Education advises principals to keep children well-hydrated during the hot water and adjust any school activities to suit the local conditions.

All public schools are air-conditioned as well.

People who work outside, or are not used to the heat, are often at higher risk of developing heat stroke.

Anyone heading to outdoor events can also be at risk.

Heat stress symptoms may range from mild to severe, and can include rashes, cramps, headaches, nausea and excessive or inadequate sweating. It can also exacerbate existing health conditions.

Anyone who experiences severe symptoms such as a high body temperature, nausea, a rapid heart rate and dry, red, hot skin should seek urgent medical advice.