Safety and Support

first-aid-487991_1920Safety in the Sun & Heat

Perth’s climate is hot, sunny summers and mild winters. The heat here is not like a summer day in Ireland. During the summer months which are from December to February, daytime temperatures in Perth often reach 40degrees. But with the sun and exposure to Ultraviolet Radiation (UV), we all need to take precautions which we are not accustomed to.

The Cancer Council of Western Australia promotes the SunSmart prevention programme which has five simple steps

  1. Slip on sun protective clothing
  2. Slop on SPF 30+ sunscreen
  3. Slap on a hat
  4. Seek shade
  5. Slide on some sunglasses

Further advice available from Cancer Council Helpline 13 11 20 or by visiting their website

It is also recommended to increase the amount of fluid intake to counteract those lost through the excessive heat. Heat stress may affect people in all parts of WA during summer months and may affect workers at some workplaces throughout the year. The effects of heat stress range from discomfort to life threatening illnesses such as heat stroke, click here for more information.

During some times of the year there may be restrictions on watering garden or washing cars. Full details can be obtained from your local Shire.

Safety on the Beaches

The coastline of Western Australia is lined by white sandy beaches; Perth CBD is only a short 20 minute car journey from the coastline. The beaches provide free fun family entertainment and some are serviced with free BBQ facilities provided by the local councils. Free events often take place by the beaches, listen to the local radio stations and check out local media for updates.

What is a Rip?

Rip currents occur frequently along the Australia coastline. A rip is a moving current of water, which can vary between strong or fast flowing.  Usually, it will start near the shoreline and flow away from the beach. It may feel like you are in a fast moving flow of water, like being in a river or you may not notice it at all. This safety animation video clip  identifies what to watch out for.

There are five recommendations by Beach Safe to assist in making your trip to the beach “safe”.

  1. Always swim between the red and yellow flags
  2. Read the safety signs
  3. Ask a lifeguard for safety advice
  4. Swim with a friend
  5. If you need help, stay calm and attract attention

Further tips on Water safety are available on the beach safe website.

Beaches are patrolled by the Surf Lifesavers; there are over 5,000 men and women volunteering in Western Australia. The service provided by them help make the beaches a safe environment for all to enjoy. Check out their website for all their services and programmes

Fire Safety

Because of the very warm dry climate here in Australia fire safety is a very important aspect of everyday life for all residents, and it is important to respect the safety advice provided by local authorities, including councils, fire officers and police.

As Western Australia’s leading hazard management agency, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) performs a critical role coordinating emergency services for a range of natural disasters and emergency incidents threatening life and property.

For more information, click on the following link: http://www.dfes.wa.gov.au/aboutus/corporateinformation/Pages/default.aspx

It is important to plan ahead for emergency situations especially if you live in areas prone to natural disasters, it could save you and your family’s life. Bushfires happen every summer; they can start suddenly and without warning. People have been killed or seriously injured, and homes destroyed during bushfires. If you live in or near bush, fire is a real risk to you and your family.

Typically Western Australia’s (WA) bushfire season in the south west starts in November and continues through to April. While in the Kimberley the season runs from June through to late October. As climate and seasonal conditions change, bushfires in WA are becoming more common and the risks are increasing.

The devastating impact a bushfire has on a community has a lasting affect and can take years to recover from. Even if you live in a metropolitan area near bushland, then bushfire is a real threat to you, your family and property. You need to understand the bushfire risk to your family and home so you can make decisions now about what you will do if a bushfire starts.

For more information, click on the following link: http://www.dfes.wa.gov.au/safetyinformation/fire/bushfire/Pages/default.aspx

Support Groups

There are lots of support and self-help groups available in Perth; links below will assist to find the one nearest you.

Western Australia Mental Health Commission – This provides a comprehensive list of services offered and contact details for out of hours services. www.mentalhealth.wa.gov.au/getting_help/Emergency_help.aspx

HealthDirect – A free 24/7 health advice line available to Western Australians (Can assist with providing details of closest doctor, information on conditional and diseases) – www.healthinsite.gov.au/index.cfm

Headspace – Australia’s National Youth Mental Health Foundation. http://www.headspace.org.au/

Alcoholics Anonymous – www.aa.org.au

There is also a local Perth base website for the Perth Branch www.aaperthwa.org this contains details of “Helpline” numbers and support numbers which are manned 24Hrs per day. There is also a link to download the current meetings list which is updated monthly.

Narcotics Anonymous – www.na.org.au

Domestic Violence – www.ncsmc.org.au

Mates in Construction – www.matesinconstruction.com.au

Gambling Anonymous –  www.gansw.org.au/

Centrelink

Centrelink is part of the Department of Human Services which deliver a range of payments and services for people at times of major change. Persons on a PR (Permanent Residency) visa type are eligible for services. However, no payments are made to Temporary Visa holders e.g. holders of Subclass 457 or a 417 Working Holiday Visa.

A list of Centrelink Customer Service Centre locations throughout the suburbs of Perth and towns of WA is available on the website.

Services and payments offered by Centrelink include but not limited to the following: Families, Job Seekers, Health, Students & Trainees, Carers, Separated Parents and Help in Emergency’s. Contact your local Centrelink Customer Service Centre to determine eligibility.