Hungary can expect “possible record high temperatures” with a daily mean of 27 Celsius in the coming heatwave during the week, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
Other states experiencing similar weather include Spain, France, Switzerland, Belgium and Germany. The IFRC has called upon people to look out for each other, especially for more vulnerable individuals.
“The coming days will be challenging for a lot of people, but especially older people, young children and people with underlying illnesses or limited mobility,” says Dr. Davron Mukhamadiev, IFRC’s Europe Region health coordinator. “Our message this week is simple: look after yourself, your family and your neighbors. A phone call or a knock on the door could save a life.”
Although the Hungarian Red Cross did not prepare any specific plan for this week’s extreme weather, disaster response unit member András Molnár says a detailed list of precautions and advice has been posted on its website on how to survive heatwaves in general. Advice includes avoiding alcohol and drinking 2-3 liters of water a day, placing cold packs on the body, as well as the use of caps to avoid skin damage or sun strokes.
Moreover, the Hungarian Red Cross highlights the importance of its Balaton First Aid Service (BESZ), which runs all summer long, with the help of 300 volunteers in 12 towns, providing free healthcare services to those on holiday near Lake Balaton.
The IFRC furthermore outlines in their press release how climate change is expected to worsen the effects of heatwaves as their frequency and intensity are likely to increase. Thus they stress the importance of precautions to avoid “strain being put on already stretched healthcare services” globally, especially in cities where the heat is more excessive due to the lack of space.
The effects of such heatwaves, according to the IFRC, can be “catastrophic” as, for instance, one such wave took approximately 70,000 lives in 2003. As a result, the IFRC and the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Center will plan a standard procedure to help those in need for the coming heatwaves.