Tips for minimizing your exposure to wildfire smoke

September 11, 2020
wildfire smoke
By Regence

The west coast of the U.S. currently has some of the worst air quality in the world caused by the unprecedented spread of wildfire. According to the National Weather Service, poor air quality is expected through the weekend.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers sound advice for reducing your exposure to smoke both inside and outside your home.

The general rule is to stay inside if you can; keep doors and windows closed; program air conditioners to use recirculated air; and avoid adding to indoor air pollution such as wood-burning fireplaces/heaters, stoves or tobacco smoke.

With COVID-19 still in our communities, it remains important to physically distance and wear a face mask when in public spaces, wash hands regularly, and clean frequently used surfaces.

If you are managing a respiratory condition, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD)

  • Make sure you have needed medications on hand. You may be able to get early refills of most medications during states of emergency.
  • Follow EPA advice for managing indoor air quality
  • Consider temporary relocation, if possible, until air quality improves
  • Call 911 right away if you have severe difficulty breathing

If you are displaced by wildfire and need prescription or medical support
We can help you get the care you need. Call us at the number on the back of your member ID card or sign in to regence.com to chat live with a customer service professional, or use the chat feature on the Regence app. We’re available Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Pacific time, and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pharmacy customer service is available 24/7.

Resources to stay informed and safe

  • airnow.gov – use your zip code to check your local air quality
  • EPA – advice for managing indoor air quality
  • CDC – wildfire smoke and COVID-19
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