Unfortunately, Alaska has been seeing some intense wildfires so we thought it would be important to share with you some ways to be prepared in keeping you, your family, and home safe if you are ever at risk to being affected or exposure. These preparations are especially important if you are dealing with babies, children, older adults or a person with a heart or lung disease.
- Doctors orders – if anyone in your family has heart or lung disease (asthma included), it is important to talk to the doctor about what steps you should take during events like a wildfire when the air quality is bad.
- Supplies – have a stock of supplies like non-perishable groceries, especially ones that do not need to be cooked since cooking can add to your indoor air pollution, and make sure that you have enough medications or necessities needed so that you do not need to venture outside when it is smoky.
- Buy an air cleaner – NOW! Having one in your home is very important but be sure it has the high-efficiency HEPA filters and will be the right size for the room you choose (see number 4).
- Choose a clean room – choose a room in your home that can be the “clean room” with few windows, doors and no fireplace where you will keep the portable air cleaner.
- N95 respirators – having these on hand in your home can help reduce the inhalation and exposure to the smoke. They must fit snuggly to your face in order to work properly and are not recommended for children.
- Prepare in case of evacuation – if there is a potential that your home could be affected, it is important to gather your important belongings and important documents so that they are ready to go with you in case of an evacuation. Don’t forget about creating a plan for your pets and children to make it less chaotic in case of emergency.
If the wildfire has been happening, here are some other rules to go by:
- Follow instructions by local officials and enforcement in order to keep you and your family safe.
- Follow the doctor’s instructions they have given you if you have a heart or lung disease.
- Do not burn candles, use gas, propane, wood-burning stoves, fireplaces, aerosol sprays
- Do not fry or broil meats, use any tobacco products or vacuum
- Use a portable air cleaner to help reduce indoor air pollution in your home
- Avoid strenuous activities if it looks or smells smoky outside
- Pay attention to local air quality reports and health warnings. These are so important to be aware of!
- Keep your car windows closed and only run the recirculate mode for air conditioning. Drive slow in smoky areas.