The British Columbia region is slowly approaching the wildfire season that started a few years back. Extremely pollutant, allegedly impossible to exterminate, for the time being, the fire covers the province and endangers the residents. However, there are a few measures people can take to stay safe from the wildfire smoke pollution. Interior Health is advising residents through a list of seven steps they can take to prepare for the ‘season.’
Here are the instructions passed down to the public
- Make sure you have cleaner indoor air: Clean indoor air is vital when seeking relief from the smoky atmosphere. Buy a portable air cleaner that utilizes high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration to eliminate smoke from indoor air.
- Know the places where you can find cleaner air: Lots of large public spaces may have cooler and cleaner air. They may be libraries, community centers, shopping malls, and so on.
- Recognize people who need extra care: People with chronic conditions such as asthma, heart disease, or diabetes, also pregnant women, infants, and young children are highly affected by wildfire smoke. If you or someone in your family are at increased risk, talk to your health-care provider to design a management plan for smoky seasons.
- Have a smoke contingency plan: If you are planning an outdoor activity, especially with those most at risk, make sure that you have a backup plan in case the smoke levels are too high.
- Have a plan for rescue medications: If you use rescue medications, such as asthma inhalers, make sure you have a supply and always carry them with you. Have an alternate plan to follow if your rescue medications cannot help.
- Review resources from WorkSafe BC: If you work outdoors, see WorkSafe BC resources and take care of your occupational health and safety policies and procedures for wildfire smoke events.
- Check the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) and follow the instructions: The AQHI is a scale created to help you understand what the air quality around you does to your health. The AQHI also offers advice on how to protect your health during low, moderate, high, and very high health risks air quality.
Patrick Supernaw is the lead editor for Great Lakes Ledger. Patrick has written for many publications including The Huffington Post and Vanity Fair. Patrick is based in Ottawa and covers issues affecting his city. In addition to his severe hockey addiction, Pat also enjoys kayaking and can often be found paddling the Rideau Canal. Contact Pat here