Stay Safe from Heat and Wildfire

Be Prepared for Dangers of Extreme Temps and Unexpected Fires

For older adults, the dangers of summer, from extreme heat to wildfire smoke, can be especially hazardous. Extreme temperatures are the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S. Proper planning, however, can prevent many heat-related illnesses and death.

Extreme Heat Advice 
Here are actions you can take to prepare now from 

• Identify places to get cool like libraries or shopping malls. Fans alone aren’t enough during extreme temperatures. 
• Drink fluids often to prevent dehydration and overheating.  
• Give an extra key to your home to a trusted friend or family member. Make sure they know where to locate life-saving equipment and medicine. 
• Learn the signs of heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and more. 

Wildfire Smoke Tips 
Summer also brings the dangers of wildfire smoke which can greatly impact older adults with lung and heart conditions. U.S. EPA Region 10 on Facebook has steps to take to stay safe: 

• Consider purchasing a portable air cleaner to reduce smoke particles. If not available or affordable, learn how to make a Do-It-Yourself air cleaner (see PDF link below) and gather materials now. 
• Be prepared to evacuate. Smoke and ash can cause serious health risks, even from a fire far away. 
• Consider purchasing N95 respiratory masks. offers these additional tips on how to be smoke ready: 

• Consider your pets in your smoke preparation plans. 
• Stock up on HVAC filters now. If you wait, supplies may be out of stock, or will not arrive in time. 
• Learn how to read the Air Quality Index. Then, bookmark where to find it. 

Public Safety Power Shutoffs  
Puget Sound Energy (PSE) may temporarily turn off power to prevent wildfires. The measure is deemed “a last resort” to keep communities safe. Impacted areas would be notified two days in advance, when possible.  

Customers with life support equipment are asked to alert PSE in advance by calling 888-225-5773 now. Qualifying critical medical equipment includes ventilators, suction machines, oxygen concentrators, dialysis equipment, and more.  

If approved for Life Support status, a seal is placed on a customer’s electric meter to ensure field personnel know vital medical equipment is in use. Contact PSE directly for a full list and to register for program eligibility.  

DIY Air Cleaner Infographic  Icon: extreme heat hazard info sheet  Icon: PDF
Older adult shielding sun from face
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