Be prepared this summer


Weather forecasts predict there will be hotter weather this summer. Heatwaves and shorter periods of hot weather can seriously impact people’s health.

NSW Health encourages pharmacists to discuss getting prepared for heat this summer season with people at higher risk of heat-related illness, including prompting relevant actions such as:

  • being aware of the dangers of heat exposure
  • recognising the signs of heat-related illness
  • having a plan in place ahead of summer, such as:
    • knowing contact details for their pharmacist and GP, as well as other people who may be able to assist if in need (e.g., family, friends and neighbours)
    • getting specific advice from their GP/primary care provider on particular medical conditions
    • ensuring adequate stock of medications, food and drinks, to avoid going out in hot weather

In addition, pharmacists can discuss simple steps people can take to reduce the risk from heat-related illness, such as drinking plenty of water regularly (even when they don’t feel thirsty), staying out of the sun and avoiding being outdoors in the hottest part of the day and closing curtains and blinds when it is hot.

For further health information related to heat, visit the NSW Health website.

Bushfire smoke

Climate outlooks for a hot and dry summer season also suggest elevated risk of bushfires in NSW.

Exposure to bushfire smoke can have serious impacts for people’s health.

Some people are more sensitive to smoke from hazard reduction burning and bushfires, including people with a pre-existing lung or heart condition, people who have diabetes or who are pregnant, young children and the elderly.

Encourage your community to get prepared for bushfires this summer season by reminding people to:

  • talk to their GP about how bushfire smoke might impact their health
  • update their respiratory management plan with their GP/primary care provider e.g., Asthma Action Plans
  • check that their prescriptions are up to date, and where appropriate, have medicines stored with their important items so they can get them quickly if they need to evacuate
  • consider keeping a supply of P2/N95 face masks at home and to learn how to fit these well. Masks are not suitable for all people. People with respiratory conditions should discuss mask use with their doctor. Read more in the NSW Health P2 mask factsheet.
  • reduce their risk from bushfire smoke by avoiding outdoor activity and spending more time indoors with windows and door closed when smoke levels are high.

When ordering your stock for summer, consider increased demand for medications that may be required in smoky conditions.

For further health information relating to bushfires, visit the NSW Health website