Although we are optimistic that air quality will remain good in the Northeast, we must have a plan in place for ourselves and our loved ones should smoky skies return. Here are some tips to help you prepare:
AirNow.gov is the EPA's website that shows the current air quality index (AQI) for our area. The color-coded guide effectively shows what groups need protection on any given day. The site also gives a bigger picture of the Northeast, and tomorrow's air quality index. It's a necessity to check the AQI before sending the kids out to summer camp or sports practices. Check out "AQI Basics" on the site to learn more.
*Air purifiers with a HEPA filter can reduce the concentration of harmful smoke particles in your home. If you can only buy one purifier, you can move it into the bedroom at night to help purify the air for sleep. We recommend Medify Air Purifiers and here is our affiliate link.
*Frequently check the filters of your home's HVAC system and keep extra filters on hand for a heavy smoke event.
*When traveling in your car you can recirculate the cabin air instead of letting fresh smoky air inside. Your car also has an air cabin filter that should be changed periodically.
*For nasal congestion or cough, we recommend doing a saline rinse using a NETI pot or nasal spray.
*Cloth and surgical masks we used during COVID won't do the trick for smoke. Have KN95 or N95 masks ready if you absolutely need to go outside during a smoky period.
*Avoid strenuous-high intensity exercise or moderate intensity exercise for an extended period of time while using a mask and adjust your plan understanding that your performance will be affected. Please exercise indoors when AQI is poor.
We are here for you should you need information on how to care for yourself or loved ones. We hope that this is our first and last post on air quality!