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Caution urged as mercury rises across Benalla and district

Residents are urged to prepare for exceptionally warm temperatures as a heatwave sweeps through the region.

KAITLIN THALS January 15, 2014 4:10am

Residents are urged to prepare for exceptionally warm temperatures as a heatwave sweeps through Benalla and district this week.

The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast potential heatwave conditions with tememperatures climbing above 40°C for today, tomorrow and Friday. The Department of Health has issued a ‘Heat Health Alert’ for this week.

A total fire ban has been declared for the North East today.

Benalla Rural City Council is offering free movie sessions in the airconditioning at BPACC Benalla Cinema to help residents escape the heat.

Free screenings are on Thursday, January 16 at 2pm and 4pm, with complimentary tea, coffee, biscuits and water available at both.

Following declared heatwave conditions for this week, council is encouraging residents to check on friends, family and neighbours who may have trouble coping with the heat.

People showing signs of heat-related illness should phone Nurse on Call on 1300 606 024 or Maternal Child Health Line on 132 229.

Signs of heat-related illness include heat exhaustion, dizziness, fainting, heat cramps, heat rash and heatstroke (which requires urgent medical attention).

BRC has activated the declaration phase of its Heatwave Plan, including communication with stakeholders, media, council staff and the community.

For more details phone Benalla Rural City Council on 5760 2600.

For more information about total fire bans and ratings visit http://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/warnings-restrictions/total-fire-bans-and-ratings/

 

It is important during a heatwave that care is given to vulnerable people within the community, including:

People 65 years and older, particularly those living alone without airconditioning; infants; pregnant and nursing mothers; people physically unwell, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure; people with a disability.

Ways to reduce the risk of heat-related illness during heatwaves include:

Drink plenty of water and non-alcoholic fluids; stay indoors, if possible with airconditioning, or in the shade; take a shower or bath; wear lightweight loose-fitting clothing; reduce physical activity; check on older, sick or frail people who may need help coping with the heat; never leave anyone in a closed parked car; don’t rely on fans to cool people unless there is adequate ventilation; know the signs and symptoms of heat illness and how to respond.

Cool public spaces within Benalla Rural City:

Benalla Aquatic Centre — hours extended during hot weather; Lake Benalla; Benalla Botanical Gardens and Riverine parkland; Benalla Library; Benalla Performing Arts and Conference Centre; Benalla Bowls Club; Benalla Golf Club; supermarkets; shops; hotels; restaurants and cafes.

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