Smoke Ready Week 2020
On behalf of our Smoke Ready 2020 partners – Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency, Spokane Regional Health District and Spokane County Emergency Management – welcome to Smoke Ready 2020. The week encourages residents to prepare now for wildfire smoke with information, tips and resources.
Each day, from June 15-19, information and resources on preparing for wildfire smoke will be posted and shared on social media channels. Each day has a unique theme with related tips.
To help us spread the message, we need your help. During Smoke Ready Week, please post on your social media about the daily topics and use the hashtags #SmokeReadySpokane and #SmokeReady2020. We have provided graphics and messaging below.
We appreciate the important partnerships that have been critical to helping our community prepare for wildfire smoke.
(Download graphics and messages here.)
Monday: Stay informed about air quality.
Monday Welcome Message:
Today we’re kicking off #SmokeReady2020 Week! Wildfire season is almost here and while we cannot predict how much smoke we may get, we can be prepared. Each day this week, we will feature ways you can protect your health from smoke.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) is a color-coded system to report air quality conditions. Using the AQI can help you make the best decisions for you and your family's health. Since air quality can change quickly during smoke events, check the AQI often (it is updated hourly) at spokanecleanair.org.
Wildfire season is right around the corner. An easy way to keep tabs on air quality is to download the free AirNow phone app. You can also sign up for texts or email alerts. Visit airnnow.gov.
Tuesday: What is in wildfire smoke?
Wildfire smoke particles are tiny enough to bypass our body’s normal defenses, entering the lungs and blood stream. Smoke can hurt your eyes, irritate your respiratory system, and worsen chronic heart and lung diseases. The best way to protect yourself is to reduce your exposure to smoke. More wildfire smoke information can be found at https://spokanecleanair.org/air-quality/wildfire-smoke
Because smoke particles are so tiny, they can remain suspended in the air and travel long distances. This is why the Spokane area can experience heavy smoke from fires that are hundreds and even thousands of miles away. Check air quality and wildfire activity at the Washington State Smoke Blog https://wasmoke.blogspot.com/
Wednesday: Wildfire smoke and your health.
Breathing wildfire smoke can worsen many health problems and cause minor to serious symptoms like headaches, stinging eyes, coughing, trouble breathing, asthma attacks and chest pain. Learn ways to protect yourself before the smoke arrives! More wildfire smoke information can be found https://spokanecleanair.org/air-quality/wildfire-smoke
Not everyone who is exposed to wildfire smoke will have health problems. Age, individual susceptibility – including lung conditions (e.g., asthma, COPD) or heart disease, and other factors – determine whether someone will experience smoke-related health problems. More wildfire smoke information can be found https://spokanecleanair.org/air-quality/wildfire-smoke
Infants and children, pregnant women, adults 65 and older, and people with heart and lung disease may experience more severe acute and chronic symptoms from smoke exposure and therefore should discuss a plan with their healthcare provider before the smoke arrives. More wildfire smoke information can be found https://spokanecleanair.org/air-quality/wildfire-smoke
Thursday: Keep indoor air quality clean.
Create a cleaner-air room in your home with a portable HEPA air cleaner. They can help reduce particulate levels indoors, as long as they are the right type and size for your home. Learn more at https://youtu.be/HTv6USNuSqY
Need a low-cost way to clean the air? Try making a box fan filter yourself. This DIY solution costs under $50. While it won’t provide the same level of protection as a HEPA air cleaner, it does effectively reduce smoke particles. https://youtu.be/4qr1Aj6Di7w
If you have an air conditioning unit at home or in your car, switch off the “fresh air intake” when it is smoky outside. Use the “recirculate feature” instead. More wildfire smoke information can be found https://spokanecleanair.org/air-quality/wildfire-smoke
Friday: More ways to reduce your wildfire smoke exposure.
If you have a forced air system in your home, talk to your service provider about different filters and settings that will work with your system to reduce indoor smoke. More wildfire smoke information can be found https://spokanecleanair.org/air-quality/wildfire-smoke
Avoid activities that create more indoor and outdoor air pollution, such as frying foods, sweeping and vacuuming, and burning candles or recreational outdoor fires. More wildfire smoke information can be found https://spokanecleanair.org/air-quality/wildfire-smoke
What do you do if you don’t have air conditioning and it’s a hot day? It’s always important to pay attention to the heat and stay hydrated — overheating is dangerous. These steps can reduce the heat:
- Close curtains or shades during the day when it’s sunny.
- Use portable fans indoors.
- *Hint: Try placing a bowl of ice in front of the fan (with windows closed) to help cool a room.
- Track the air quality and open your windows when the air is clean.
- If you can’t stay cool at home or are sensitive to smoke, it may be best to seek shelter elsewhere. Stay with friends, family, or neighbors that have good filtration in their homes.
Follow along as we help our community prepare for wildfire smoke: