Due to the recent wildfires and continued dry and windy conditions in the Amarillo area, residents are at an increased risk for smoke exposure.
Prolonged inhalation of wildfire smoke can cause a range of health problems, from allergy symptoms to worsening of chronic heart and respiratory illnesses.
If there is enough smoke in the air, breathing in smoke affects even healthy people.
Those at higher risk of illness include older adults, children, pregnant women, and people with chronic heart and lung disease.
Health effects from breathing in smoke include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Burning eyes
- Runny nose
- Chest pain
- Fast heartbeat
Call your healthcare provider if your symptoms do not improve. Steps to prevent harmful effects of smoke:
- Limit your time outside and stay indoors as much as possible
- Use an air filter to clean indoor air
- Keep windows and doors closed when possible
- For those with a history of heart or lung problems, make a respiratory management plan with your doctor and follow your doctor’s advice about medications:
- If it is necessary to be outdoors during smoky weather, wear a particulate mask such as N-95 or P100 respirator. These are sold at many hardware and home repair stores
- Install a dual-sensor smoke alarm on each level of your home. Test monthly and change batteries.
- Radio: stay tuned to local radio, television, and reliable news information for instructions from local officials. If advised to evacuate – do so immediately!
- Windows/Vents: Close all windows, doors, vents, and blinds before evacuating.
- Go-Kit: Have a disaster supply kit ready take with you if you are evacuated.
- Escape Route: Have several planned escape routes away from your home – by car or foot.