Extreme heat occurs when the forecast average temperature on any day exceeds the predetermined heat health temperature threshold in a Victorian weather forecast district. A heatwave involves three or more consecutive days of extreme heat.
Isolated days of extreme heat typically affect the health and wellbeing of individuals who are most at risk, commonly due to age, illness, medication or social isolation. In heatwaves, these impacts are compounded and occur alongside significant health impacts across broad sections of the community. Heatwaves also affect natural, built and economic environments, often through the compromised operation of critical infrastructure, facilities and services.
With the frequency and intensity of extreme heat events in Victoria expected to increase, the Northern Grampians Shire Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee is developing a multi-agency Extreme Heat Plan to minimise the harmful effects of extreme heat on the health and wellbeing of residents. The plan seeks to address the risk factors of extreme heat on the most vulnerable in the community.
The Department of Health & Human Services and Better Health Channel websites provide further information on keeping cool during a heatwave.