Heatwaves are brief periods of unusually high temperatures. They vary in intensity and duration between locations and may also vary in intensity and duration at different times of the year. They are an important issue in public health because of their risk to human health and wellbeing.
The Department of Health & Human Services established the Heat Health Information Surveillance System (HHISS) to monitor the impacts of extreme heat on human health in Victoria. The HHISS is managed by the Health Intelligence Unit, which has published a series of reports on heat health.
Heat health reports
January 2009 heatwave in Victoria: an assessment of health impacts
This report provides an overview of the health impacts in Victoria during a five-day period in early January 2009, when maximum temperature reached 12–15°C above normal.
The health impacts of the January 2014 heatwave in Victoria
This report assesses some of the health impacts from the extreme heat experienced in Victoria between 14 and 17 January 2014.
Adaptive capabilities in older people during extreme heat events in Victoria
In 2011, the department funded a population survey to identify the adaptive capabilities of older people in Victoria during periods of extreme heat.
Population health impacts of heat: key learnings 2009-2011
This report outlines some of the key learning points from the first two years of heat health surveillance in Victoria. It draws on surveillance information obtained from a range of different sources and attempts to answer questions about periods of extreme heat and associated health impacts to support heatwave planning in Victoria.
Population health impacts of heat: key learnings 2011–2013
This is the second report in the series, covering heat health surveillance during 2011–12 and 2012–13.
For more information on heatwaves and heatwave planning in Victoria, please see the department's heat health section