Tips to prepare for wildfire smoke season

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. — Jackson County Health and Human Services is encouraging you not to wait to prepare for fire season.

Protecting yourself from wildfire smoke is especially important for the health of children, older adults, pregnant women and those with chronic health conditions.

HHS said if any family member has heart or lung disease, including asthma, check with your doctor about what you should do during smoke events.

Stock up on things like medications and groceries so you don’t have to go out during extremely smokey conditions. Also keep a supply of foods that don’t need to be refrigerated or cooked, because cooking can add to indoor air pollution.

They said another tip is to ask an air conditioning professional what kind of high efficiency filters to use in your home’s system.

“We are going to have a wildfire smoke event,” said Tanya Phillips of Health and Human Services. “You know as I mentioned, just talking about wildfires being in different areas and the smoke really drifting in, that there are things that they can do.”

Here are some resources to check during a smoke event:

  1. Oregon Smoke Blog: will provide air advisories and smoke forecasting.  All health department and DEQ press releases will be posted here
  2. Oregon DEQ Air Quality Index: provides hourly air quality PM2.5 levels
  3. Download Oregon DEQ OregonAir mobile app search “OregonAir” on your phones App Store
  4. Jackson County Health and Human Services Facebook Page
  5. Jackson County Health and Human Services Website
  6. EPA Smoke Sense Mobile App. This is a citizen science project with information on current air quality from wildfire smoke.

HHS also said it’s important to get an N95 or P100 smoke mask early before they sell out.

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