Heat Waves

A heatwave is a period of unusual and uncomfortably hot weather that can affect anybody.  It can also affect community infrastructure such as the power supply, public transport and other services.   

Heatwaves can make existing medical conditions worse and cause heat related illness, which may be fatal.

Who is most at risk?

The Department of Health has identified risk groups as:

  • people aged over 65 years, especially those living alone
  • people with medical conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease or mental illness
  • people taking certain medications
  • people with problematic alcohol or drug use
  • people with a disability who may not be able to communicate their discomfort or thirst
  • people who have trouble moving around
  • people who are overweight or obese
  • pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, babies and young children
  • people who work or are physically active outdoors
  • people who live in the upper levels of multi-storey buildings constructed prior to 1975.

 Coping with the heat

  • Look after yourself and keep in touch with sick or frail friends, neighbours and relatives.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Keep yourself cool using wet towels, putting your feet in cool water and taking cool showers.
  • Spend as much time as possible in cool or air-conditioned buildings.
  • Close blinds during the day and open windows when there is a cool breeze.
  • Don’t leave children, adults or animals in parked cars.
  • Stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day, if you must go out stay in the shade and take water with you
  • Wear loose fitting, light coloured clothing.
  • Eat smaller meals more often and cold meals such as salads.
  • Make sure food that needs refrigeration is stored properly.
  • Avoid strenuous activity.
  • Watch or listen to news reports that provide more information during a heatwave.

 Preparing for hot weather

  • Service your air conditioner prior to summer.
  • Stock up on food, water and medicines so you don’t need to go out in the heat.
  • Store medicines at the recommended temperature.
  • Install awnings, shade cloth or external blinds on the sides of the house facing the sun.
  • Know where your closest "cool places" are (see below).

Preparing for power failure

  • In extreme weather conditions, the risk of power outage is greater. You should be prepared and have a plan in case there is a blackout. 
  • Think about what you would do if a heatwave caused loss of electricity or disrupted public transport.
  • Ensure you have a torch, fully charged mobile phone and battery operated radio.
  • Consider your need for back-up power and don’t rely on power as part of your bushfire preparedness plan.
  • Remember power outages can affect phones, radios and water pumps. 

    For more information visit

Cool places in Stonnington

Take refuge from the heat in one of Stonnington's many cool places.


Operating Hours

Phoenix Park Library

Rob Roy Road


8290 4000

Mon – Fri: 10am – 6pm

Sat 10am - 1pm
Sun Closed


Toorak South Yarra Library

340 Toorak Road


8290 8000

Mon - Thurs 10am - 8pm
Fri 10am - 6pm
Sat 10am - 5pm
Sun 2pm – 5pm

Prahran Library

180 Greville Street


8290 3344

Mon – Fri: 10am - 6pm
Sat 10am - 1pm
Sun Closed

Malvern Library

1257 High Street


8290 1366

Mon – Thurs 10am - 8.00pm

Fri 10am – 6pm
Sat 10am - 1pm
Sun 2 - 5pm

Harold Holt Memorial Swim Centre

Cnr High and Edgar Streets


8290 1678

Mon-Thurs 5.45am - 9pm

Fri 5.45am - 8pm

Sat 6am - 7pm

Sun 7am - 7pm

Prahran Aquatic Centre

Essex Street


8290 7140

Summer Season 1 October – 31 May

Mon-Fri 5.45am – 7.45pm

Sat 6am – 6.15pm

Sun 7am – 6.15pm.

Grattan Gardens Community Centre

40 Grattan Street


9510 5877

Mon to Fri 9am – 5pm (except public holidays)

Closed between Christmas and New Year

Phoenix Park Community Centre

22 Rob Roy Road


Mon - Fri 10am – 6pm

Sat 10am – 1pm

Chapel Off Chapel

12 Little Chapel Street


8290 7000

Mon – Fri 10am - 5pm

Sat – Sun 12pm – 5pm

(later during performances)

Closed public holidays

Chadstone Shopping Centre

1341 Dandenong Rd
9563 3355

Mon – Wed 9.00am -5.30pm

Thurs – Sat 9am – 9pm

Sun 10am – 7pm



Contact information

For 24-hour health advice call NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 60 60 24

For life-threatening emergencies call 000

 Useful links