Carson City Health and Human Services has been receiving several calls about the impact of the smoke from the Washington Fire in Alpine County, Calif. As of this writing, the air quality in Carson City was at the “moderate” level.
For those who are affected by the smoke, here are the following tips:
1. Stay indoors with windows and doors closed; run air-conditioner on “recirculate” setting. Keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside. Minimize the use of swamp coolers. If it becomes too warm indoors, individuals may consider leaving the area to seek alternative shelter.
2. Do not add to indoor pollution. When smoke levels are high, don’t use anything that burns, such as candles, fireplaces, or gas stoves. Don’t vacuum, because vacuuming stirs up particles already inside your home. Don’t smoke, because smoking puts even more pollution into the air.
3. Follow your doctor’s advice about medicines and about your respiratory management plan if you have asthma or another lung disease. Call your doctor if your symptoms worsen. If you evacuate, make sure you take all essential medications along with you.
4. Don’t rely on dust masks or N95 respirators for protection. If you wish to wear something, use a wet handkerchief or bandana to cover your mouth and nose. The key — keep it moist.
5. When driving make sure to drive with the windows rolled up and the air conditioner on “recirculate.” Also, buckle up — and don’t drink and drive.
6. Minimize or stop outdoor activities, especially exercise, during smoky conditions.
7. People who must spend time outdoors should drink plenty of fluids.
8. Additionally, pet owners should consider bringing their pets indoors out of the unhealthy air conditions, if possible. This is especially important for older pets.
9. Stay tuned to local radio and TV for emergency announcements about air quality.
10. Stay in touch with family and friends, especially if you live alone. Exercise your communications plan.
To keep up-to-date on the status of this fire, and for other resources, go to: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4317/; http://www.sierrafront.net/single-media-interest-fire/2015/WASHINGTON; http://nvair.ndep.nv.gov/
For more information on the health implications of wildfires, go to: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/wildfires/index.asp.
DEALING WITH HEAT
Extremely high temperatures in an imminent heat wave could affect peoples’ health but there are ways to combat problems, according to Carson City Fire Chief Bob Shchreihans.
The chief, who also is city government’s emergency manager, released various tips on how to deal with triple digit and potentially record-shattering temperatures the National Weather Service has forecast Thursday through early next week. Schreihans in a news release also warned that pets, if unattended, are at risk when the mercury hits or exceeds 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
“Residents and visitors can expect temperatures to reach forecasted levels ranging from 100 to 107 degrees,” the Schreihans release said, “with potential to tie or break all-time record highs throughout the region.” His tips:
Remain inside during the hottest hours of each day, if possible; dress in loose, light weight and light-colored clothing; avoid strenuous work outside when it’s hot; stay hydrated and don’t await thirst.
Other suggestions include avoiding pet-related problems like leaving animals in vehicles or unprotected outdoor places; curtailing outdoor activities for the vulnerable; checking on “at risk” family, friends, or neighbors a couple of times daily; knowing what to do in a heat emergency and how to spot signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, and periodically checking media outlets regarding heat warnings.