Turning on the news, the internet, in messaging and in prayer sites, there was so much focus on the horrific fires in Australia. I think of burning lungs. Burning lungs, in people and animals. I’ve been around numerous fires, yet I can’t imagine anything to that degree. We have had large fires here in the USA, but not throughout the entire country.
How can fires start?
When I see things like this, I often wonder how prepared people are. Even a small fire can affect communities. A lot depends on what started the fire. Some potential causes are:
- Chemical fire
- Making meth or other drugs
- Dryer wiring could have triggered a house fire
- Maybe a combine fire when they are combining sunflowers.
- Someone maybe threw a cigarette out a window and started a forest fire
Are you in an area that is prone to fires?
If so, you should always be prepared. Seeing that so many things can trigger a fire and knowing that some fires can start instantaneously, how prepared are you? Things to have and do include:
- Rescue inhaler
- Face masks
- List of doctors name and phone numbers
- List of medications, pharmacy, and name of recipient
- Emergency contacts and contact information
- List of allergies
- List of health illnesses
- Keep a copy of lists too, in the glove compartment of your car, purse or wallet, hanging on refrigerator or with medications
- Make sure that your prescriptions are filled and up to date
- If you leave or evacuate, make sure that your contact and others knows of your whereabouts and that they will know where to find you, no matter where you go
What about in my emergency bag?
Make sure that your cell phone is charged and your emergency bag is handy with:
- A phone charger for the house and another for the car
- Your lists
- Medications in original containers
- Nebulizer and albuterol; there are a couple of clean washrags in baggies; oral care such as toothbrush, toothpaste, denture case, denture cleaning disks
- Neti-Pot, Navage or some other type, to do a sinus rinse. I can’t stress the importance of this. This can help to clean the bacteria and other particles from your nasal hairs. This also helps allergies
- Driver’s license or other identification
- Cash and credit cards
- Change of clothes for a couple of days and personal needs
- Face mask
Being prepared to stay home
There are a few things you can do in the event that you stay home during the fire:
- Make sure that all windows and doors are closed.
- Put damp rags in cracks or spaces of windows and doors so that smoke doesn’t seep in. Replace as needed.
- Make sure that you have food in the refrigerator and cupboards.
- Have something set up so that your pet can go to the bathroom indoors. You do not want to open and close the door where you would be letting the smoke inside your house. There are things that you can purchase such as grass, pads, etc. for them to use and it’s sanitary.
- Do not go in and out of your house. You would be letting smoke in and that can affect your breathing. It’s easy to inhale the smoke and difficult to get smoke out of the house. If you do have to go outside, cover your mouth and nose - a damp rag or a good facemask would help. Go quickly to the vehicle and in and out of where you are going.
Last tips to remember
There are some last tips to remember for the safety of you and your family:
- If you are asked to evacuate, do so. Your safety is so important.
- In some places in the USA, it’s now illegal to leave pets behind, even in emergencies. If you can’t take care of them or take them with you, take them to a rescue organization or a boarding kennel. You can call ahead to see what their procedure is.
Have you had experience with a fire or a natural disaster? How did you prepare? Share with us here!
Do you have a COPD exacerbation tool kit?