Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Queenslanders urged to prepare and keep cool in coming days

With above-average temperatures already being experienced across the State, Acting Minister for Community Safety Steve Dickson is reminding Queenslanders to keep cool, remain vigilant and bebushfire-prepared.

Mr Dickson said Queenslanders should remain alert and take precautions to prepare themselves.

“Drink plenty of water, wear light clothing, sunscreen and a hat, avoid alcohol and caffeine and try to stay indoors, preferably in an air-conditioned building,” he said.

“It’s also important to take care of babies and young children as they can really suffer in the heat and are more prone to heat-related illnesses. Also check on your friends, family, children and even neighbours during periods of hot weather.

“The elderly are often the most vulnerable to the heat and it only takes five minutes to drop by or make a phone to call to ensure they are coping with the hot weather,” he said.

Mr Dickson also reminded parents of the dangers surrounding hot weather and cars, urging them never to leave children alone in a vehicle.

“In two minutes, temperatures can hit up to 60 degrees inside a car,” he said.

“Young children are especially at risk because their nervous system is not fully developed and they cannot adapt to rising temperatures. In a hot car, they can die in less than 30 minutes.” 

Mr Dickson said signs and symptoms of heat related illnesses included flushed or pale skin, cramps, fainting or collapse, nausea or vomiting, headaches and dizziness, disorientation or drowsiness and a rapid pulse.

“If you experience any signs and symptoms of heat-relatedillnesses, or suspect someone may be suffering from the heat, call Triple Zero (000) immediately," he said.

“The Emergency Medical Dispatchers will be able to talk through first aid until paramedics arrived but it is most important to give someone suffering from a heat-related illness some water, place them in a cool spot and remove as much of their clothing as possible.”

Mr Dickson said the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) was on a watching brief and would continue to monitor conditions across the State.

"We ask that Queenslanders do their bit by complying with fire permit conditions and also phoning emergency services if they do come across an unattended fire," he said.

"Preparation is as simple as ensuring every family member knows the evacuation plan, cleaning out gutters, removing vegetation from near the home and ensuring medications are easily accessible if evacuation is required.
“Residents can stay informed by listening to their local radio station or logging onto the rural fire website at www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au.”