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The heat a hot topic

Heat in Adelaide image 905x428

South Australia has moved into new territory - heatwaves are more intense, longer, and more spread out across city and metro areas.

In just two months we’ve seen sustained heat, presenting challenges to communities and infrastructure.

Frank Crisci, our Manager for Emergency Management was recently a panellist on The Resilient East Project, talking about the challenges posed by heatwaves and practical actions people can take to manage the risks.

More than 500 people attended the event held at the Town Hall where panel members discussed what it would be like to live in Adelaide in 2025 if we continue down this extreme heat pathway.

 “We need to be talking about what the future holds for us and the potential risks associated with extreme heat so our communities are better prepared,” said Frank.

Frank’s key points

Heatwaves can mean:

  • personnel in emergency services (eg hospitals, SES) and essential services (like us and Telstra) are likely to work long hours
  • hence their WH&S must be closely monitored
  • there’s an increased probability of power, industrial and commercial plant failures
  • repair of plant failures and restoration of power will take longer because it’s unsafe to work
  • businesses such as cafés and restaurants would have few/no customers

Minimise risks:

  • plan what you would do (what to do when the power is out)
  • get to know your neighbours
  • if you have frail family, monitor their health and keep updated about power outages - sign up for outage alerts
  • power may be out eg car hit pole, and for longer than normal time, have a back-up plan

“Collaboration is vital to respond to such a complex problem that affects our health, our network, the environment, businesses, tourism, events and delivery of services,” said Frank.

“Talking about power specifically, the pressure on our network can be severe. We’re seeing huge peaks in power usage when people finish work and return to their homes, air conditioners go on as well as other appliances and the network can become overloaded.”

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