Warnings as heat wave hits Far North Coast

AS THE Northern Rivers prepares for a wave of hot weather during the next few days, police are reminding motorists about the danger of leaving children, the elderly or pets unattended in cars.

Deputy State Emergency Operations Controller, Acting Deputy Commissioner Mick Fuller, said not only was it dangerous to leave children or animals in cars, it could be deadly.

"The Bureau of Meteorology has warned us that temperatures are expected to remain in the high 30s and 40s in the coming days for large parts of New South Wales.

"While everyone should be aware of the impending hot weather, there is one golden rule which should never be broken: never ever leave babies, children, the elderly or animals alone in a car even if the air-conditioner is on.

"It doesn't take long for the temperature inside the car to soar and for the effects of the heat to take hold.

"You might think it is inconvenient to take your child or pet with you, even if it is to go and pay for petrol or pop into a shop, but the alternative could be worse," Acting Deputy Commissioner Fuller said.

NSW Health has advised that those most at risk of developing heat exhaustion are elderly people, people with chronic diseases, and people working or exercising in a hot environment.

If heat exhaustion is not treated, it can turn into heat stroke. The four key messages are:

  • Drink plenty of water (carry some with you);
  • Keep cool;
  • Take care of others; and,
  • Have a plan (know who to contact).

Members of the public should also;

  • Regularly check your local forecast from the Bureau of Meteorology on your radio, TV or on the internet.
  • Get advice from your doctor about whether your medication and/or your medical conditions may affect what you should do if it gets extremely hot.
  • Make sure you know who you are going to call (who may need help and who could provide help to you if needed) - make a list of telephone numbers.

Acting Deputy Commissioner Fuller urged everyone in the community to plan ahead and be prepared for the hot weather:

"Keep informed and look after yourself, your children and the elderly," Acting Deputy Commissioner Fuller said.

For more details on how to care for yourself and others during hot weather go to www.health.nsw.gov.au/campaigns/beat the heat

Information on bushfire preparedness is available from the NSW Rural Fire Service at http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au

Bureau of Meteorology forecast for the rest of Wednesday 9 January:

Severe Fire Danger is forecast for the following fire areas: Far North Coast, North Coast, Greater Hunter, New England, North Western and Northern Slopes.

The NSW Rural Fire Service warns that any bush fire has the potential to threaten lives and destroy homes.

The Rural Fire Service advises you to:

  • Check your bush fire survival plan - Now.
  • Monitor the fire and weather situation in any way you can: through www.rfs.nsw.gov.au and www.bom.gov.au, television or radio.
  • Call Triple Zero if you see a fire.

The Rural Fire Service advises that if you are in an area of Severe Fire Danger:

  • If you plan to leave finalise your options and leave early on the day
  • Only stay if your home is well prepared and you can actively defend it
  • Prepare for the emotional, mental and physical impact of defending your property - if in doubt, leave.

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