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Preparing for Wildfire Season

Wildfire smoke is a combination of particles and gases, both of which can cause irritation and damage to sensitive mucosa in the lungs. Puget Sound Family Health is committed to keeping our community safe during periods of poor air quality caused by wildfires. Follow these tips, as well as those posted on the EPA website, to stay healthy during fire season.

How to Prepare:

Monitor your local Air Quality Index (AQI) using websites and Apps: The AirNow website includes links to current advisories and your local AQI. Apps to download for your phone include AirVisual Air Quality Forecast, IQAir, the iPhone Weather App, and the Android/Samsung The Weather Channel App.

Develop a disease management plan: Patients with heart or lung disease should know the symptoms of disease exacerbation, medications that can help, and when to seek medical attention. Patients with asthma should have an asthma action plan.

Stay inside: You’ve likely spent a lot of time in your house over the past year and a half, but your best defense is to avoid spending time and exercising outdoors. During periods of poor air quality, stay inside with the windows and doors closed.

Invest in a HEPA-filtered air purifier: HEPA filters help remove any microparticles from wildfire smoke that may enter your home.

Wash your hair and nasal rinse daily: Shower and wash your hair daily so you’re not breathing the particles that have landed on your head throughout the day. In addition, our sinuses filter particulates out of the air, so investing in a nasal rinsing system (Neti pot) and doing this daily can help keep your sinuses clear. Follow these instructions for how to properly do nasal saline irrigation.

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