Summer is a time of holidays and family fun, but it can also be a season of natural extremes.
Being aware of the possibility of freak storms, bushfires or extreme heat and knowing how to cope will help keep you calm, in control and safe.
During and immediately after a severe weather event, such as the recent wild storm, useful information is key.
Severe weather can cause flooding and power outages and knowing what to do is critical in maintaining the health and safety of you and your family.
Do not swim or allow children to swim or play in floodwater. As well as the risk of drowning, there is a risk of injury from sharp objects and other physical hazards.
Downed power lines pose a deadly risk and waste from overflowing sewerage systems and other chemicals can cause disease and illness and mosquitoes growing in water may transmit disease.
The Victorian Government Department of Health recommends keeping children and pets away from your property after flooding until it has been completely cleaned up.
Perishable foods (including meat, poultry, fish, eggs or leftovers) that have been left above 5 °C for more than four hours because of a power outage should be thrown away.
Do not drink floodwater that may be contaminated by floodwater.
Preparing makes sense
Many parts of our beautiful municipality are low lying, meaning properties in those areas face a greater chance of flooding in high rainfall events. Historically most flooding events have occurred between December and February, so as you prepare your house to welcome guests over the summer it is also a good idea to prepare your house for potential flood events.
The Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) has some fantastic tools to help you be better prepared for all kinds of emergency events – see www.ses.vic.gov.au/plan-and-stay-safe.
If you are holidaying in a bushfire-prone area, prepare a Bushfire Survival Plan.
If you take steps to get prepared, you’ll know what to do when a threat arises.
Use the CFA’s Bushfire survival planning template – Leaving early to help you write down your plan.
You can also use the Red Cross’ Emergency Rediplan template.
Heat kills more Australians than any natural disaster.
Heat can cause illnesses such as heat cramps and heat exhaustion which can lead to the life-threatening condition, heatstroke. Heatstroke is fatal in up to 80% of cases.
Those most at risk are older people, young children and people with a medical condition.
Survive the heat this summer with these five simple tips:
- Drink plenty of water
- Never leave anyone in a car
- Stay somewhere cool
- Plan ahead
- Check in on others