Extreme heat in all districts this week

SAPOL & SES Warnings

Article heading image for Extreme heat in all districts this week

With temperatures soaring around the state this week, police are encouraging the community to be aware of the risk posed by this extreme heat event.

A severe heatwave is forecast today (17 December) for the Flinders, West Coast, North West Pastoral and Eastern Eyre Peninsula regions and is set to increase tomorrow to include the North East Pastoral, Mid North, Riverland, Murraylands, Yorke Peninsula and Metropolitan districts.

Police are reminding the community to take shelter in the air-conditioning and to check their area for public buildings which are available to enter and escape the heat.

If you are travelling in any of the affected areas during the heatwave please be mindful of overheating, take regular breaks and ensure that you are travelling with enough food and water in remote areas. Remember to let people know where you are going and when you are expecting to arrive at your destination.

Police urge motorists to drive to the conditions and if your vehicle breaks down stay with it and seek appropriate assistance.

Never leave children or pets unattended in a parked car and if you see them left in the heat please call 000 immediately for urgent police attendance.

Family and neighbours of elderly or vulnerable people are encouraged to maintain regular contact with these people and ensure they are staying out of the heat or moving to areas where there is adequate air-conditioning available to ensure they remain safe.

For more information on the heatwave districts and how to protect yourself during this extreme heat event visit the State Emergency Service website: https://www.ses.sa.gov.au/site/home.jsp


Heatwaves have caused more deaths in Australia than any other natural hazard.

We define a heatwave as three or more days of unusually high maximum and minimum temperatures.

View the state heatwave summary table (open in a new window). Heatwave summary maps are available for today and tomorrow.

There are six cool tips to help you and your loved ones stay safe and well during a heatwave:

  • Sleep in the coolest part of the house—it might not be your bedroom.
  • Fill a small spray bottle with water—it's a great way to keep cool, especially for children.
  • Add a slice of lemon and ice cubes to your water.
  • Set your air conditioners to the cool setting.
  • Register older family members for the Red Cross Telecross REDi service on 1800 188 071.
  • Make sure pets have cool spots, shade and many bowls of iced water. Bring them inside during the day.

Never leave children or pets alone in a parked car, especially during a heatwave.

Heatwaves are more than just hot weather. When it’s hot during the day and it doesn’t cool down at night, it’s very hard for your body to cool itself down.

Heatwaves also bring risks to your health and wellbeing, and anyone can be affected. Keep an eye on your loved ones who have existing health conditions because they can become ill very quickly during heatwaves.

Before A Heatwave - Get informed

Get ready

  • Service your air conditioner by cleaning and replacing its air filters according to the manufacturer's instructions, so it's working before you need it.
  • Have curtains with pale linings in rooms that get a lot of sunlight to help reflect the heat.
  • Think about putting shading, such as external blinds or shutters, on windows in rooms that face west (the direction the sun sets).
  • Prepare a cool room in your house using air conditioning, fans, curtains and blinds.
  • Make sure your house can properly manage its temperature without compromising security, for example, insulation in the ceiling and walls will help keep the house cool.
  • Plan your days to avoid going out during the hottest part of the day.
  • Locate a cool place in your area, such as a shopping centre or library, if you don't have air conditioning.

Be prepared for emergencies

  • Download and use our Emergency Kit Checklist 238KB PDF to list all the things you may need in an emergency.
  • Keep mobile phones fully charged and have a battery-powered radio and torch nearby in case of a power outage.

Look after yourself and others

  • Know if members of your family, friends or neighbours are at particular risk in the heat. Make a plan to check to them regularly during a heatwave.
  • Know the signs of heat-related illness, such as dehydration.
  • Register yourself or someone you know to the Red Cross Telecross REDi service to make sure they are checked on during a heatwave. You can do this by calling 1800 188 071 or 8100 4510, or emailing [email protected].
  • Think about how you will keep your pets cool and healthy, such as making sure they have plenty of col water in their bowls and shade to sit in.

During A Heatwave - Stay informed

Keep cool

  • Close windows, blinds and curtains in the morning.
  • Do your outdoor activities in the early morning or evening when it's cooler.
  • Wear loose light-coloured clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, sunnies, and sunscreen when outside.
  • Have cold showers or use a small wet towel, cool packs or a spray bottle to help cool down.
  • Use your air conditioners and fans.
  • Spend time in a cool place, such as a shopping centre, library or cinema, if you don't have air conditioning.

Stay hydrated

  • Drink plenty of water and make sure you carry water with you.
  • Have less coffee, tea, alcohol, and soft or energy drinks as they will dehydrate you.
  • Don't forget your pets. Make sure they have plenty of cold water (with ice cubes, if possible), cool spots and shade to sit in.

Look after yourself and others

  • If you are feeling unwell, contact your doctor or call Healthdirect Australia on 1800 022 222. For emergencies, call Triple Zero (000).
  • Ensure babies, small children, older people and people with certain health conditions are drinking enough water and using air conditioners and fans.
  • Call or visit family members, friends and neighbours to make sure they are OK in the heat.
  • Be prepared for power outages, keeping in mind that computers and some telephones may not work without power.
  • Be careful around large trees as they often drop limbs when it's hot. Avoid parking or setting up campsites under trees with large overhead branches, and don't let children climb or play under them.


Ewan Grant

17 December 2019

Article by:

Ewan Grant

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