This article was originally published on Aug. 19, 2020. It has been updated to remove outdated material.
Even for Bay Area residents not actively fleeing a wildfire burning in the region, the infernos can send unhealthy smoke wafting across the sky and dusting cars and houses in ash. Here are seven tips for staying safe and healthy during fire season.
1. Be prepared if you need to evacuate
Gather a few key things so you’re not scrambling when the evacuation order comes in. Make sure you pack medication, important documents like passports and birth certificates, glasses or contact lenses if you wear them, chargers for your phone and an extra battery pack if you have it, a flashlight, a change of clothes, nonperishable food — think granola bars — and water. And don’t forget to pack face masks.
If there’s a baby in the family make sure you pack formula or other essentials for the little one, and pack food for your pets. Remember to bring your wallet or purse if you have to flee.
Establish a meeting place in case family members get separated. Designate an emergency contact out of the area to let everyone know you are safe.
2. Make sure you have a safe way to get out
At least five people lost their lives in the fires that ripped through Sonoma County several years ago specifically because they could not get their cars out of their garage. When the power goes out, garage doors often stop working. In the wake of the devastating fires, lawmakers in Sacramento passed a…