07 January 2010

What Global Warming Looks Like - Summer in Australia

Forecast temperatures for Adelaide are 39 deg C on Friday, and 41 deg C [105.8 F] on Saturday, Sunday and Monday...

Of course, Australia has always had hot summer days [a few 44s, 45s last summer], but there seem to be a lot more 40+ days that I remember, and a lot more strung together at once...

'A Message to the Public Sector Regarding the Extreme Heat Warning

The State Emergency Service has issued an Extreme Heat Warning for this Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The current hot weather is a risk to public safety. South Australians are urged to take appropriate action to ensure their wellbeing during this heat event.

During this period, I would ask that agencies activate their Extreme Heat plans. These should include provision for agency building security personnel and frontline service staff allowing members of the public, as necessary, to access foyers or other suitable spaces where air-conditioning can provide them temporary respite from the heat.

Wherever possible, consideration should be given to having drinking water on hand and to offering advice about nearby facilities which might provide further relief. If anyone is showing signs of heat stress requiring medical attention, please call 000.

I would also encourage all members of the public sector to monitor unnecessary energy use at all times.

All South Australians are being urged to exercise care during the hot weather and to take precautions such as:

* Drinking plenty of fluids, but avoiding alcoholic and caffeinated drinks.

* Making regular contact with elderly relatives, friends and neighbours, especially if they live alone, to ensure they are keeping cool and drinking plenty of fluids.

* Staying indoors if possible and keeping homes cool by closing blinds and curtains during the day and making good use of fans or air conditioners (ensuring they are switched to cool).

* If venturing outdoors, to do so in the mornings or evenings, taking advantage of air conditioned public facilities such as shopping centres, cinemas and libraries.

* Being prepared for the possibility of power outages and keeping in mind that some computers and telephones may not work during power outages.

* Considering the safety and comfort of your pets and other animals.

* Keeping in mind that as the temperature rises, large trees may drop their branches without warning.

If you or people you know are feeling unwell, contact your local GP or telephone Healthdirect Australia on 1800 022 222.

For immediate medical attention, telephone 000.

For more information on extreme heat, visit www.ses.sa.gov.au'

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