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Hunter residents urged to keep cool as weather heats up

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Scorching weather over the coming days has increased the need for Hunter residents to look after their health… and stay cool.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) is forecasting both maximum and minimum temperatures to be 5-12°C above average, reaching the high-30s to low-40s during the day, and low-high 20s overnight.

And, this region won’t be immune to the heatwave conditions either.

Wallsend’s predicted to receive a pair of 40s on Thursday 25 and Friday 26 January, while Raymond Terrace can expect 40 and 41 respectively.

Further up the valley, Cessnock is bracing itself for 40 and 41, with Maitland slightly warmer with 41 and 42.

Singleton and Muswellbrook look likely to deal with 41 and 42, too, while Scone drops to 40 and 41 on those two days.

The “coolest” spots appear to be Nelson Bay (33 and 36), Newcastle (38 and 39) and Toronto (39 and 39).

Thankfully, the weekend will offer a bit of a reprieve.

For updated weather forecasts and warnings, visit www.bom.gov.au

Important information

NSW Health

Heatwaves can be dangerous for everyone’s health, but some people are more vulnerable including people over 65 years old, babies and young children, people with certain medical conditions, people who work outside, pregnant women, people who live alone or are socially isolated and people who are homeless.

There are a few simple things you can do to stay safe in a heatwave:

  • Avoid being outdoors in the hottest part of the day
  • Keep your home cooler by using air-conditioning or electric fans and closing doors, windows, blinds, and curtains
  • Limit your physical activity to early in the morning when it’s coolest
  • Stay hydrated by drinking water regularly. If your doctor has restricted your fluid intake, ask them about how much you should drink when it is hot
  • When outdoors, apply sunscreen and wear sunglasses and a wide brim hat to protect your eyes, face, and scalp
  • Seek out cool places or air-conditioned public facilities in your local area, if you can safely travel without getting too hot

Heat exhaustion is serious heat-related illness and is your body’s response to a loss of water and salt in hot weather, usually through excessive sweating or excessive physical activity.

Symptoms include pale skin, headache, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, fainting, weakness, irritability, thirst, heavy sweating, muscle cramps, decreased urine output.

If you experience these symptoms and they do not improve, seek medical care.

Phone your doctor or healthdirect on 1800 022 222.

If symptoms are worsening and you are concerned about heat stroke, immediately call triple zero (000).

Heat stroke is the most severe heat-related illness.

In extreme heat, your body’s ability to cool itself down can fail, causing your body temperature to increase to a dangerous level.

If left untreated, this can result in permanent disability or death.

Heat stroke requires immediate medical emergency care.

Symptoms include confusion, slurred speech, agitation and altered mental state, profuse sweating or hot, dry skin, muscle twitching or seizures, rapid breathing, a quick strong pulse or very high body temperature.

Heat stroke is extremely dangerous and can quickly threaten life.

If you are concerned about heat stroke, immediately phone triple zero (000).

Visit https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/beattheheat for information on how to stay safe during a heatwave.

If you live in an area where a bushfire is possible, check and follow any emergency warnings associated with threats from bushfires. Prepare now for your health and the health of those around you this bushfire season.

NSW Ambulance

If you’re experiencing mild symptoms of heat exhaustion:

  • Get out of the heat to a cooler area indoors or shaded area outdoors
  • Loosen or remove clothing
  • Start to cool down any way you can: use a cold-water spray, apply a cool, damp sponge or cloth, wet clothes and skin, have a cool shower or bath, apply ice packs or crushed ice in a damp towel on the neck, groin and armpits
  • Drink water

If symptoms do not improve, seek medical care.

Phone your doctor or healthdirect on 1800 022 222.

If symptoms are worsening and you are concerned about heat stroke, immediately call Triple Zero (000).

Symptoms may include confusion, slurred speech, agitation and altered mental state, profuse sweating or hot, dry skin, muscle twitching or seizures, rapid breathing, a quick strong pulse or very high body temperature.

Rural Fire Service and Fire Rescue NSW

Fire agencies are urging those that live or are visiting bush fire prone areas to know the Fire Danger Rating and have a plan of action in the event a bush or grass fire threatens.

So, follow the advice:

  • There’s a heightened risk. Be alert for fires in your area
  • Review and discuss your bush fire survival plan and know what you will do if fire threatens
  • If a fire starts, your life and property may be at risk. The safest option is to avoid bush fire risk areas
  • Report all unattended fires to Triple Zero (000) immediately
  • Stay up to date on bush fires in your area by checking Hazards Near Me app, the RFS website www.rfs.nsw.gov.au, listening to your local radio station, or by calling the RFS Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737
  • If your life is at risk, call Triple Zero (000)

NSW Police Force

With high temperatures expected across the state; police are asking commuters to keep their cool.

Traffic delays and the heat generally has the potential to frustrate drivers with slower conditions on the road; so please be patient.

Many people will want to head to the beach, a local swimming hole or swim in their backyard pool, so please be careful.

Keep a watchful eye over children especially when they are near the water – all children need to be supervised.

Anyone who sees suspicious or illegal behaviour should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.

Information is treated in strict confidence.

The best advice is if you don’t need to be out – stay at home.

Above all, look after yourself and those around you. If you need assistance, phone Triple Zero (000).

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