Extreme heat

South Australia can experience long periods of extreme heat. During our long heatwaves it is easy to become dehydrated and for the body to become overheated.  If this happens, heat cramps, heat exhaustion or even heatstroke may develop.

It is very important for everyone to know what the effects of extreme heat are, who is at risk and what to do to prepare for and cope during times of extreme heat.

See our Extreme Heat Guide (PDF 397KB).

  • Information on heat related conditions and what to do if you have any symptoms
  • Practical tips on preparing for and coping during extreme heat
  • Emergency treatment for people affected by the heat while waiting for an ambulance
  • Helpful tips for recovering from the heat when it is over.

Preparing for days of extreme heat and/or catastrophic fire danger

When preparing for days of extreme heat and/or catastrophic fire danger don’t forget to think about additional ideas for keeping cool if there is loss of power.

  • Fill a bath or bowls with cold water in advance so you can cool down
  • Keep the curtains and blinds drawn
  • Use a battery operated personal fan
  • Fill bottles/jugs of drinking water kept in a cool dark place
  • Still keep medications that need to be refrigerated in a fridge but wrapped in foil or a heat repellent container with an icepack ready to place with them if power goes off
  • After power comes back on after a prolonged outage be careful of eating food products usually stored in the fridge or freezer that may have been damaged by loss of cold storage .
  • If the heat cools in the evening but the power is still off – if you feel safe to do so - open up the house to let the cool air through.

For further information, including translated fact sheets, on how to stay cool and what to consider, see the Staying healthy in the heat page.

Further information

For further information, please contact the Emergency Management Unit:

Telephone: (08) 8226 7115

Radio advertisement


Radio transcript

Voice over: Even though we live in a state of extreme heat, do you know what the signs are if someone’s affected?

Would you know the symptoms?

It’s important to take care of yourself, relatives and those around you.

It may sound simple, but extreme heat can be extremely bad for your health.

The frail or elderly, those who live alone, the young and those with ongoing health conditions are most vulnerable.

To find out what to look for and what you can do in cases of heat stress go to:

It may just save your life… or someone else’s.


A message from the Government of South Australia

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