Following forecasts by MeteoLux of maximum temperatures exceeding 30°C across most of Luxembourg this week, the Health Department has triggered an orange weather alert and decided to implement part of its heatwave plan.
The outbreak of the heat alert (hot weather warning) by the Health Department is expected when the announced temperature is between 33°C and 35°C with an average temperature exceeding 23°C the previous day and according to the daily reports of the emergency services of hospitals. The orange alert phase includes awareness-raising measures for the population, as well as the application of pre-established protocols in institutions for vulnerable people, such as hospitals and retirement homes.
In a preparatory phase, a first evaluation visit to define the exact needs has been carried out in recent weeks by the networks of support and home care for people at risk on the lists of the Luxembourg Red Cross in the framework of the heatwave plan not benefiting from long-term care insurance and not known by the networks, in accordance with the provisions of the heatwave convention 2019 concluded with the Luxembourg Red Cross and COPAS ( Federation of organisations providing aid and care). In the event of a red alert (high heat alert), these persons will receive the regular visits deemed necessary by the networks following the evaluation visit.
The Red Cross and the COPAS (with help networks and home care) deploy the number of professionals needed to coach people who need help during a heatwave. Professionals (nurses, caregivers, social helpers) also receive training to contribute to the smooth running of the plan, which proposes monitoring visits and assistance with hydration to people aged 75 or over, living alone (or with someone with a disability), with limited autonomy and without help from the long-term care insurance, in case of high heat.
The persons concerned can also contact the Red Cross telephone exchange at 27-55 (Monday to Friday from 8:00- 17:00) or contact the Health Inspectorate of the Health Department via tel. 247-85650 for additional information.
Recommendations during a heat wave include checking on the elderly or sick people living alone, seeing that they consume enough water (at least 1.5 litres per day), that they spend several hours a day in cool places or in the shade, closing windows and window shutters exposed to the sun during the day and making sure that they regularly take refreshing showers or baths.
In the context of this heatwave, owners of domestic animals and livestock are similarly reminded of their obligations to respect certain rules to ensure animal welfare. More specifically, the Ministry of Agriculture, Viticulture and Rural Development has stressed that animals must have at their disposal water of sufficient quantity and quality and should not be left in parked vehicles exposed to the sun. In addition, animals should not be forced to do excessive physical exercise during the hot hours of the day and animals kept outdoors must have a natural or artificial shelter offering sun protection.