Residential street shrouded in smoke

How to Survive Summer Smoke

4 Ways to Mitigate the Affects of Smokey Air

Summer Brings Sun… and Wildfire Smoke

Remember the days, not so very long ago, when we didn’t know what an N95 mask was? It seems as if COVID and increasingly common wildfires, took away our innocence.

Whether the wildfire smoke comes down from Canada, up from California, or originates right here at home, it can be a serious health hazard.

Here are four steps you can take to help you and your loved ones stay safe when wildfire smoke is in the air.

  1. Check the Air Quality Index, or AQI, to see how smoky it is outside. Check current conditions and forecasts at AirNow.gov.
  2. Avoid outdoor exercise and move indoors when it’s smoky out. If you’re at higher risk from smoke, move indoors if the AQI is 100 or higher. This includes people who are age 18 and under, over age 65, have heart or lung conditions like asthma, and who are pregnant. When the AQI is 150 or higher, everyone should move indoors. If you need to be outside, an N95 mask can help to protect you from smoke.
  3. Watch those around you, as well as yourself, for symptoms of smoke exposure: headache, sore throat or nose, cough, burning eyes, dizziness, or wheezing. Keep inhalers and medications ready. Call or text 911 if someone has serious symptoms from breathing smoke, like trouble breathing or chest pain.
  4. Use an air cleaner with a HEPA filter in your home. Close windows, curtains, and blinds during the day, and run AC or a fan to stay cool. If it gets too hot, fill your tub with cold water and soak in it. If it is hotter inside than outside, move outdoors to a shady spot. Look for a public place with air conditioning, such as a movie theater or a mall.

For more on this topic, follow this link to The Public Health Insider.