Check on vulnerable, be safe during extreme heat warning

The Liberal Government is urging South Australians to take care, be vigilant and check on the vulnerable as a heatwave grips the state this week.

Due to the forecast extreme heat, a state-wide Code Red and a life-saving phone service has been activated to keep the community safe.

The Housing Authority has activated a Code Red from today until Friday, 20 December.

During a Code Red activation, Housing SA, together with its non-government partners, makes additional accommodation and services available for extended hours for people sleeping rough in the hot weather.

Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink said increasing homelessness services was vital in the extreme heat.

“Keeping vulnerable South Australians safe and well in the extreme heat forecast over the next few days is our priority,” said Minister Lensink.

“During a Code Red, agencies across Adelaide will extend their daytime operating hours to ensure people sleeping rough are keeping cool and well-hydrated during the extreme heat.

“I urge the community to check on the elderly, people who live alone, with disability or mental illness and those who are housebound, frail and the aged.”

The following homelessness agencies will extend operating hours today:

• Westcare (Baptist Care SA) 11/19 Millers Ct Adelaide, will extend their hours of operation on Monday, 19 December from 5pm – 8pm.

• Street to Home will be providing additional outreach services to people rough sleeping

• The Homelessness Gateway Service will continue to operate 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Anyone who is rough sleeping is encouraged to contact the Homelessness Gateway on 1800 003 308.

“Tomorrow, the state-wide Code Red will be extended to overnight provision of services. We will announce which services will remain open overnight tomorrow,” said Minister Lensink.

“People in regional areas can call the Homelessness Gateway 1800 003 308 if they need assistance in the heat. This service is available 24/7, every day of the year.”

In addition to the Code Red, the State Government will activate the Telecross REDI service tomorrow – a lifesaving free phone service that provides free welfare checks at regular intervals during extreme heat events.

The phone service is provided by the Red Cross and activated by the Department of Human Services during declared heatwaves.

“When the temperatures soar, people registered with Telecross REDI can receive a phone call up to three times a day, to check on how they are coping,” said Minister Lensink.

“The trained Red Cross volunteers can also provide tips to stay cool or activate an emergency procedure if required.”

Minister Lensink said she urged vulnerable members of the community to register with the service.

“This service could literally be a life saver for people in our community – not just those who live alone, or with a disability or mental illness – but also those who are housebound, frail, aged, recovering from an illness or accident,” said Minister Lensink.

“These people are known to be at a far greater risk than others during the hot weather.”

Minister Lensink thanked the people working on the ground this week.

“It is thanks to these services and staff that we are able to help people stay safe and well in extreme weather,” said Minister Lensink.

Vulnerable people, or their representatives, can register for the Telecross REDi service by phoning 1800 188 071 or (08) 8100 4510, or by emailing telecrossredi@redcross.org.au

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