Hazards - Know your risks


A heatwave occurs when the maximum and the minimum temperatures are unusually hot over a three-day period. Heatwaves can impact anyone but babies, young people, elderly people, pets, those working outdoors and those with medical conditions are particularly vulnerable. Heatwaves can also cause disruption to the power supply, public transport and services.

What are the local risks?

Heatwaves in Queensland typically occur between October and March but are most common in January.


The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) issues heatwave forecasts and warnings from October until the end of March, depending on conditions. The BOM classifies heatwaves into three types, based on intensity:

  • Low-intensity heatwaves are more frequent during summer. Most people can copeduring these heatwaves.
  • Severe heatwaves are less frequent and are likely to be more challenging forvulnerable people such as the elderly and those with medical conditions.
  • Extreme heatwaves are rare. They are a problem for people who do not takeprecautions to keep cool – even for people who are healthy. People who work orexercise outdoors are also at greater risk of being affected.

How to prepare

  • If you have a medical condition, ask your doctor for advice on how to manage the heat.
  • Think about modifying your planned activities so that you are indoors or in air-conditioning.
  • Install blinds, curtains or other devices which help to keep the heat out.
  • Check your fans and air-conditions are working property.

What to do during

  • Drink plenty of water regularly.
  • Keep out of the heat as much as possible, especially between 11 am and 3 pm.
  • Close curtains and blinds to keep rooms cool.
  • Avoid strenuous activities.
  • Wear loose, cool clothing and wear a hat, glasses and sunscreen if going outside.
  • Have cool showers or baths or splash yourself with cold water.
  • Look after your animals.

After an event

  • Check on friends and vulnerable people who may be less able to look after themselves.

Contact us

Address: 190 Bourbong Street
Bundaberg QLD 4670. Australia.

Telephone: 1300 883 699