Thankfully, the wildfires in California have been almost fully contained, as much-needed rain has helped to put out a lot of the blazes. Even though the devastating fires are nearly over, residents of states at risk for future wildfires are wondering how they can help protect themselves, their loved ones, their pets and their property from damage and injuries caused by wildfires. Smoke inhalation is perhaps the most dangerous aspect of wildfires, and is often the most underlooked and unexpected. Inhaling smoke from a house fire or wildfire is actually the most common cause of injury, not the actual fires themselves. While the blazing infernos are terrifying, even getting far away from them poses danger if you’re not prepared against inhaling the toxic smoke.
What to Know About Wildfire Smoke Inhalation
As wildfires and occur, they contain tiny bits of debris from burning wood, producing a cocktail of highly dangerous and even deadly toxic gases. Inhaling this smoke can cause major respiratory problems immediately, or in the future. The debris from burning wood can potentially cause allergic reactions in some people, and some wildfires have caused people to get carbon monoxide poisoning. The wildfire smoke also is highly irritant to your eyes, so it wouldn’t hurt to stock up on something to protect against that.
Wildfire Smoke and First Aid
Becoming certified in first aid is a great idea, no matter where you live. Understanding the basics of first aid and CPR can help save lives. However, you don’t have to be certified in first aid to spot some of the symptoms of wildfire inhalation. If you see someone is having trouble breathing, is coughing frequently, or is feeling dizzy, these are indications that they might be impacted by smoke inhalation. Getting someone to safety immediately and as far away as possible from the smoke is imperative. Once they are out of the smoke, you must call 911 for medical help as soon as possible.
Keeping Your Pets Safe During Wildfires
As dangerous as wildfires are for people, pets are even more at risk because they usually can’t help themselves like humans can. When preparing for a disaster like wildfires, make sure you take some precautions to keep your dogs, cats, birds, and other pets safe. For instance, getting yourself out of harm’s way and evacuating can be difficult enough, but you also must be sure you can bring your pets along with you. If they must be transported in a pet carrier, take some steps to get them comfortable with being the carrier if you must put them in one at a moment’s notice. If you are unable to get to a pet in the event of a disaster, set up a plan with a neighbor or friend so that they can help get your pet out of danger.
Never Too Late
It’s never too late to learn how to be prepared for wildfires, because earth scientists are predicting that the blazes will continue in the future, or perhaps even get worse. There are many products that will help you survive and protect yourself, your family and your pets, as you can’t be too safe. Check out all of the natural disaster survival products from More Prepared.